Saturday, July 30, 2005

Half an Office Back...

What a busy day! We headed off to the dump early this morning to drop off the two old and disassembled desks to the recycling depot. Then we went to St. Pat’s for our morning workout while the kids played in the TV room. They have the full cable there and we usually have to tear Erin and Bethany away from the cartoon channels that we don’t have here at home.

After that it was off to the smaller of the two farmer’s markets in town which we try to support. The large one in Dieppe is nice, and very new, but you have to really want to be squished in a ground and have to push your way through aisles where people just stop to chat with friends instead of moving on or buying things. I picked up a custom-designed ankle bracelet that I had ordered from the young girl who makes them. I wanted a certain pattern but all in dragon greens of course! I also came home with two new plants for the garden and tucked them into place before lunch.

Nick got the whole office painted in the afternoon and then right after supper, while the girls watched a DVD, he and I assembled the hutch part for the desktop and the shelf/drawer unit that goes to the left of the desk. He wheeled one shelf back in for me and I now have about half my office set up again. I LOVE the new colour, a deeper blue called Limerick that looks more Maritime than the cornflower blue I had before. I can’t wait to get the lateral file part assembled tomorrow afternoon so that I can start sorting and moving things back into place. I threw out a whole bunch of “stuff” today and it felt great!!!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Total Office Chaos...

Friday nights are usually “date night” in this house where the kids go to be at a reasonable hour, even though it is the weekend, and Nick and I get some time together as a couple. Usually, that means playing a game or watching a DVD, but tonight the poor guy had to bring his screwdriver down to my office and help me tear down two desks, then assemble the base of the new one so that I could get at least one computer hooked back up enough to blog!

Tomorrow, we’ll paint the office and then move most of the stuff back in. I say most, because anyone who grew up a bit packrattish knows that you end up with little piles of “stuff” that you mean to sort out sometime but just haven’t gotten to yet, or things that you are pretty sure you’ll need sometime soon.

Part of my “getting ready to turn 40” has not only involved cleaning up my eating habits and getting in shape, it has involved learning how to let go of “stuff” and just hang on to the memories instead of the object.

So I am trying to make sure that any “stuff” I really don’t need or haven’t gone looking for lately, doesn’t come back into the new office!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Procrastination or Productivity??

With less than 2 weeks until the show, what happens today? After months of searching for the right desk to replace the 2 I have in my office an hopefully get both computers a little closer together, I had pretty much given up when we found the perfect model... and on sale! It’ll be delivered next week (since this is a long weekend here) and Nick pointed out that this would be the perfect time to paint the office before we rearrange everything and get it just right! Aaaaack!! At least the borken keyboard tray from the one desk won’t keep falling out on my toes!!

He has to go down to Petitcodiac for the day tomorrow to do some muscle work of his own, turning a work room into a book room and moving boxes around, so that will give me some time to just get a few things out of the way on the computer and then start lugging things out into the family room so that we can paint.

We also went into the pet store for “just a peek at the animals” and came out with a second cage for Wuffles, our dwarf hamster. We bought the set of tubes as well and now he can run back and forth between the cages or through a tube that runs along the outside. We even got the little “potty” with the scoopable litter to see if that will coax him to pee elsewhere than in the tube that leads to his bed! He ran around like a crazy thing for almost an hour checking everything out and then fell deeply asleep for a few hours, all tuckered out from his explorations!

I still haven’t decided whether this is procrastination or productivity, but I can wait to get the office redone!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Two Weeks From Today...

It’s a bit scary and hard to wrap my head around that we’ll be arriving in Charlotte exactly two weeks from today. Part of me wants to run around like Chicken Little screaming at the top of my lungs... and part of me is quite amazed at how much farther ahead I am than usual before a trade show!

I get like this before every show... its part of the charging up, revving up and gathering in energy to use during the event, but you also have to be careful not to burn yourself out before you even get there.

I am also so incredibly aware of how you cannot take anything in life for granted. So many of our friends are going through turmoil right now, facing life-threatening battles, coping with legal battles, facing the sudden injury of a loved one, struggling not to lose a job... it makes me very grateful for the hugs from my children, the ability to do a job that I love and the fact that I have a roof over my head at night. Those are the things that we really cannot ever afford to be complacent about when so many in the world spend every day on the brink of survival.

The newest piece, that will only be ready to show off the model of in Charlotte, has just gripped me and shaken me until I got it all on paper. It is for all the strong women in life who face challenges, even when afraid. The design features a frog with a little gold crown lounging in a glass slipper. Above him read the caption “Forget the Balls & Kissing Frogs” and below the slipper it says “I’ll make my OWN Happy Ending!” I’m trying to think of a charity that really helps women in need (other than breast cancer) towards which some of the proceeds could go... but there really isn’t a National program here in Canada that would apply...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Getting Ready To Juggle 2 Blogs at Once!

I must be a sucker for punishment, especially with a trade show just over 2 weeks away... but it was time to set up my blog about becoming She-Hulk, since tomorrow will start the 40 day countdown until I paint myself green and get on stage at Dragon*Con to celebrate turning 40 with a bang.

If you are interested in this second blog and the details of the transformation that a crazy extrovert has decided to undertake, you can check it out at

Today was productive in many ways... the first harder workout with Nick... getting the Hoffman order off by courier so that this replacement order for the two boxes that the Canadian and US postal services still can’t agree who lost will get there... finishing off the sketch for the middle of the design Nick has been stitching from my roughs so that he’ll have a chart to work from at last... and getting the new blog set up to launch.

Life is going to be hectic for the next little while, but it WILL be memorable!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Unexpected Adventures... Playing Tourist In Your Own Province!

We just got home tonight after deciding to turn a chore into an excuse for a family getaway. I knew that we needed to take our passports to the passport office in Fredericton in order to get them back for our trip to the USA next month. The girls now need passports of their own, so with three to submit, it seemed easier to drive them there.

We endured a drizzly, damp Saturday and found out that the forecast for Sunday was going to be bright sun and fairly warm temperatures, but that Monday would be back to cold and drizzle again. We decided to call Fredericton to see if there were any hotel packages at the Lord Beaverbrook hotel downtown... and sure enough there was a wonderful Summer Sizzler package that included two queen size bed and breakfast for the family in the morning! We threw our stuff in a bag Saturday night and hopped in the car Sunday morning to head for Fredericton.

Kings Landing is the most awesome historical settlement that takes a good 3 hours to walk through. Houses from the early to late 1800s were moved and restored to recreate this settlement or farms, churches, mills, print shop, smithy, houses and general store. Everyone in the town is dressed in costume and stays in character for the period and shows what life was like in that era. They cook their meals over the hearth or stoves in the house, work the land, apprentice in the businesses etc. This time the girls were old enough to really fall in love with the place. Erin has even decided she might like to try the “Visiting Cousins” program next summer where you attend the camp for the week and act as a character during the day, learning skills from the era and even attending school in the schoolhouse for a few hours every morning. She got the chance to hold the reins of the wagon as we drove back to the main entrance and was absolutely thrilled!

After most of the day at Kings Landing, we headed for the hotel and a nice swim at the pool. We dressed for dinner and walked off to the greek restaurant we knew about in town about 5 blocks from the hotel. Unfortunately, when we got there, we and several other tourists were disappointed to find out that it is closed on Sundays! This was the beginning of our half an hour, 5 block maze chase around the streets of downtown Fredericton, desperately trying to find ANY restaurant that served something other than fast food! We finally found a great pub called the Snooty Fox and had a fabulous supper that did much to restore our spirits and get rid of the “grumpy whineys”. We headed back to the hotel for a massive game of Harry Potter UNO and then read in bed while the girls fought over who was stealing the covers and who had toes on whose side... Even in a Queen sized bed, they still managed to get on each other’s nerves until they fell asleep. My sister could probably correct me, but I don’t remember fighting with her that much over sleeping space!!

This morning, after another quick swim and breakfast, we headed off to the Passport Office under grey and cloudy skies that left me wishing I’d packed a sweater. We got through our business there with one little flaw... seems Quebec has changed birth certificate information to bring it in line with the rest of Canada and Vital Statistics... so my old Birth Certificate is no longer valid. Even though I used it to get my last passport (and it is still me) I have to send away for this new version. Sigh! If they had let me know about this when I was up there in June, I could have taken care of it then. Just as we left the Passport Office, the heavens opened, so we ran a few blocks down to the Science East hands on science center and spend over 2 hours exploring the exhibits, helping the staff move baby stick bugs onto new raspberry plant stalks to eat, setting up domino mazes etc.

On the way home from Fredericton, we stopped to explore Old Orchard Crafts and the village of Gagetown where Flo Greig, a potter whose work I adore, has her studio. Nick and I received a magnificent salad bowl of hers as a wedding present 16 years ago and have added a few pieces to our collection since then. We have always meant to try to find her studio and stumbled across it today as we tried to find a place to eat a much overdue lunch! She happened to be there when we wandered in out of the damp and it was such fun to let another artist know how much her work has meant to me! We headed home a new addition to our collection and some great memories of a village we’ll go back to explore again.

Sadly, New Brunswick seems to lag WAY behind Nova Scotia in terms of properly promoting its craftspeople and making it easy to find them through brochures, signage etc. Having been in Nova Scotia just a few weeks ago, I am saddened by the difference between the two provinces...

Now we are home again and ready to get orders off in the mail etc. It was fun to turn the chore of dropping the passports off in person into a fun family adventure and strange to think that we’ll be doing that run again in two weeks time to head down to the show in Charlotte! Where has the summer gone??