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Friday, May 31


Wasn't I just whining about the applications? Seems like it. And yet, here I am, the morning of our first show of the Summer season.

I already reconnected with some friends during set up last night and today will be filled with catching up, hugs, news from the Winter. I love this community of artists. People care about each other, celebrate the successes of their colleagues, share their inside info and step ladders. I have never worked in that kind of environment. I think it is what keeps me loving this gig.

So, tonight I get to try out our new display and layout. (Thanks to display racks and bins from a closing Blockbuster) It's the first time in 15 years I've traveled to a show without my trusty floor racks.

I have a new widget: Travel Journals. I designed some fill-in pages, attached square envelopes to the inside of each cover, bound in a pocket in the middle and added some photo/scrapbook pages in the
back with spaced binding. We'll see how they go. It will be my most expensive book because of all the components.

So, I have a few hours before we head out to the venue.

Guess I can make a few more goodies this morning :)

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 27


Mom has been gone 2 years now. Seems impossible, but it's true. And I guess Memorial Day makes you think of people you've lost, so I've been remembering My folks and Russ' Mom who I loved dearly.

There was no big inheritance when Mom passed. Her little house wasn't worth a lot of money. It's sale didn't buy me a Mercedes. It paid some bills, made gifts to kids, socked a little away. Done. She died believing we would be set for life from her bequests. We let her believe it.

But I inherited other things that turn out to be priceless. A metal ice cream scoop with a knobby handle that outperforms all of my WIlliams/Sonoma fancy-dancy scoops. A huge wooden butcher block that she made pasta on every Sunday morning and then, as she got older,  just on special occasions.  It serves as the surface of my stainless work table. A recipe book with notations on the inside covers. A green vase I bought for her at an antique shop when I was newly married and thinking myself sophisticated. The white plastic beaded earrings, impossible to describe, that she wore on all special days. So much a part of her, that I clipped one to my bag when my son got married. I felt she was there.

A pair of knitted slipper socks with outrageous felt flowers that I hide in the bottom drawer but pull out on stormy Winter nights. Some paintings that were on her walls so long they left light rectangles on the wall when we took them down. (Mom was a smoker).

Every day I touch things that were a part of her, a part of our lives growing up. I sense her smile when I pull on the ugly socks. She always believed being cold gave you a cold. "Put on a hat!"

Today I listened to the last voice mail she left. I do that every so often. Hear her voice. But she is closest to me when I scoop out some ice cream or run a sponge over the worn wooden block on my work table.

Sunday, May 19

best made plans..

I would have tons of stuff ready for the season by now if life had cooperated. Have I made that argument before? Probably.

Most of February was spent at my son's house in Michigan, tending to his beautiful daughter while Leisha transitioned to being a working Mom.

Then, in March, there was the grand studio redesign I wrote about at the time.

Oh! And I was organizing a show to benefit the WNY Peace Center which took up way more time than I anticipated. That was in May.

The best distraction was a surprise offer from friends that were driving to Michigan for the weekend. Come with us, they said and so I did and I got to hold the charming Emma in my arms yet again. That was last week. I brought her cold home with me and Russell and I have been down for the count. Small price to pay, I think.

So, as usual, I am behind. But excited. Once again, I was accepted to all the shows on my list. There is much to be said for competing in an uncrowded field :) Many of my more talented friends were not so lucky and I don't know what to tell them.

But, on I go. Slow and steady, eye on the prize, insert your own cliche here...


Rollin, Rollin....

I love to ride a bike. I'm lousy at it. I have no strength in my legs so a 5 degree incline fatigues me. I am clumsy. The pedals are never in the right place for me to push off so there is often an awkward rolling and stepping dance that happens while I try to get the right pedal at 2 o'clock. Meanwhile, 5 year olds on trikes are passing me and joggers are waiting patiently for me because they can tell that should they step in front of me when i find my right pedal, there is little chance I will be in control of the bike when I roll into them. It takes me a while. And then there is the mounting issue. I can only get on the bike from my right side which means I have to fling my right leg over the saddle while my left leg bears my weight. My left leg with the bad knee. Not happening. By now I am sure any sane person reading this is wondering why I try. Because I like it. I love rolling along, feeling the breeze. I feel younger. I see things along the routes that please me. I want to be healthy. I was going to give up, but a friend turned me on to "step through" bikes which are basically "girls" bikes with an even lower cross bar than usual. I tried it. I liked it. I bought it. I still need to figure out that right pedal thing and those hills will get flatter as I get stronger. My son insisted I buy a helmet, so I did. He gave me a grandchild. It is the least I could do. I took my Granny bike to my neighborhood park which just happens to have a bike path that runs along the Niagara River and Lake Erie and meanders through the parking lots of some pricey lakefront condos before it empties out onto a marina and the Canalside boardwalk. Every so often I stopped to take photos of a sea gull or the winding path before me or Canada Geese chillin' on a gentle wave. I came home hot, tired, happy and proud. Look out, world. She has wheels.