Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Hellos...Goodbyes and Off to Columbus!!

The sun broke through today and the temperatures soared!! Summer swooped in and suddenly some people in town were complaining that it was TOO HOT!! I just kept grinning as I finally felt warm. This dragon likes the heat!

My Mom and John arrived this afternoon, about 10 minutes after I left with Erin to take the last run of parcels to the post office and do a bank run to make sure I had taxi money for the cabbie coming at 4 am!! They wandered around and checked out our garden in the backyard for the few minutes until we got home and then Mom came with me to pick up Bethany. It is such fun to see my two girls get lost in the magic of having their grandparents here. I can remember that fun and sheer love with my own grandparents. I called my Grampy tonight to let him know that Mom arrived safely and was preciously aware that at 93, he may not be around for that many more years. As grown-up as I feel sometimes, just talking with him takes me back to the mornings after I stayed over with my Nanny and Grampy. Nanny would always make me porridge and then Grampy would stomp down the stairs saying in his loudest, gruffest voice... "Somebody’s been sitting in MY chair!” Since I felt every inch the blond Goldilocks with my long hair, I would sit and squeal with glee as he rounded the corner to give me my morning hug.

Lullaby time tonight was hard. Bethany really hates it when I go away and has the most poignant ways of twisting that knife into your heart. Tonight it was “I will always love you forever, even after you die and my eyes fill with tears all the time!” I let her know how much fun she will have with her “Nanny and Grrr”, that I will be very careful and that I will think of her often.... but I don’t ever glibly promise that I’ll be back before she knows it. In a world of the unexpected, we cannot always promise safety.... but I CAN promise her right back (Nick and Erin too) that I will ALWAYS love them!!

I am thrilled to be packed and off to bed at a reasonable hour, excited beyond words to see old friends and find out the reactions to new designs (and how much the Morning Wizard sample chart is going to make people grin!!), a bit terrified of not knowing what to expect and how to get around in a new city... but ready to go discover Columbus!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Will I Remember Everything?

I used to laugh at my mother’s lists. I can remember thinking to myself... “I will NEVER make those when I am a grown-up!” The things you need to remember as a child and as a teen, even though they seem very important at the time, just are not as complex as the stuff you need to carry around in your head as an adult. At least having a PDA has helped me keep everything in one location instead of dozens of tiny notes-to-self and lists.

I feel so strange heading off to a new show. I knew what to expect and how to set up for things in Charlotte, but that anxiety/terror/excitement mix can also be energy worth harnessing if you figure out the balance. WIth all that’s been going on here in our lives over the past week for Nick’s career, none of which I can mention yet, I am glad that I decided to scale back on what I had hoped to release to make it manageable.

Tonight, instead of trying to finish off a model or create my order forms at the last minute, as I have in other years, I am actually mostly packed. I have made my list of tasks for tomorrow with everything from picking up my tickets to returning the kids library books, which will hopefully keep me from forgetting anything major.

Nick had the District Track Meet today and somehow missed two whole patches on the backs of his knees/legs with the sunscreen. He is pretty uncomfortable and VERY red. Poor Tigger!! Luckily my mom and stepfather arrive tomorrow to stay here with the girls and lend a hand while I am away.

I must go check over my list one more time before bed...

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Career Day, Picnics and Garden Planting

Friday was Career Day at Nick’s school, Arnold H. MacLeod, and I was asked to be one of the guests who came in and spoke to two classes about my job. It was such fun to bring my big black portfolio of drawings along.

The first class I spoke to was a lovely 3-4 combined (grades 3 & 4) French Immersion class. I offered to speak to them completely in French, but the kids begged the teacher to let them ask questions in English “for a break”. I started off by sharing with them that I found out at age 11 that grown-ups could draw for their jobs when I won the Young Artists & Young Writers contest through Jack and Jill magazine. I spent 5 days in Indianapolis, Indiana with the other 9 winners as the Saturday Evening Post Publishing Company showed us around their facilities and their city as well as arranging workshops for us and even taking us to see Rock Hudson in the musical Camelot! Since many of the kids in the class I spoke to were 9 and 10, they found it interesting to have decided what I wanted to do so early.

The second class I spoke to was one of the wiggliest Kindergarten/Grade 1 classes they had, so I switched tactics and we made a joint drawing. Those who were sitting nice and still each got to tell me what they wanted me to add to the picture. As the drawing grew, I also talked about being an artist and the things I do... but mostly they kept watching my pen bring the shark trying to eat the mermaid as the kitty parachuted down from beside the pegasus to nearly land on the race car next to the speed boat in the lake just in front of the burning castle where the princess and the frog prince lived..... (It was a pretty interesting picture to fit everything in on 8.5 x 11”) Afterwards, the teacher photocopied the picture so that they could each have fun colouring it in. This is one drawing that will definitely never end up as a cross stitch pattern! LOL!

Considering that I leave on Thursday for the show in Columbus, I feel remarkably calm and well prepared. Probably because I pared down what I was trying to get ready for the first time in the decade that I have been doing shows. Now as long as I remember all the important stuff like passport, ticket, new models and money, I should be fine. Nick fielded a call from a shop in Columbus that got my 4 models from Nashville sent to them in time to meet up with me for the show... but it wasn’t the shop that I had arranged to have them sent to!! Luckily, the shop owner knew me and called to ask if she could have a mini trunk show over the weekend and have me bring a dozen of each pattern to her this week!! I guess the shop in Texas that had been hosting my models lost the address of the shop they were supposed to send it to and just picked one in Columbus... but I will have to let them know about the goof tomorrow. That could have been messy!!

Today was the first warm, sunny day in almost 3 weeks of rainy, cold weather. It coincided with our Sunday School closing and church picnic, so my girls all but collapsed into bed tonight still smelling of suntan lotion and bug spray. Not only did they play around during the picnic, we got out the wading pool when we got home and they splashed while I finally got my garden planted. We’ve had frost almost once a week for the past 3 weeks... so I was a bit worried to plant it on our May long weekend. Poking around in the mud was nice and relaxing after shooting the last few pictures I needed to take of the new models.

Hmmm! Considering how much I have been yawning as I write this, an early night for me might not be such a bad idea since last night was interrupted by crazy trade show dreams.....