Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Ode to September

September has been my favorite month for as long as I can remember.  Recognizing now (and reconciled to the fact) that I was a strange kid, I always looked forward to school starting.  The advent of September way back then meant new shoes, sweaters in gorgeous hues of Autumn, jeans that were actually long enough for my ever-growing legs, notebooks full of nothing but possibility and erasers that had yet to know a mistake.  It was the most joyous month of the year.

Flash forward 20-30 years and September now means the end of the fiscal year.  It's a busy time, but usually accompanied by a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and even victory.  Every year, the goals set by the Powers That Be get steeper, our resources get slimmer and the element we serve gets more difficult to manage.  It really does take a special breed of person to do what we do with sensitivity and integrity, and I am proud to call my business associates friends.  September gives me the unique opportunity to review the year in both hardships and accomplishments in the face of hardship.  While I am quick to recognize accomplishments throughout the year, there is nothing quite so impactful as reviewing the whole year in one staff meeting and recognizing the role each team member played in our success.  I love it.  Plus, we enjoy a rare moment of civility with one another and take time to share a great breakfast!   This year, my Year in Review annual victory speech will be slightly tempered by one empty seat.  There is nothing to celebrate in losing a staffer, even if it is the best thing for all parties involved.  It's a sad, sad waste.  With that said, knowing exactly how my team will enter into a new fiscal year, I feel refreshed, hopeful, confident and even excited.  In their faces, I see the inextinguishable "BRING IT" determination that is as much a part of their DNA as is the color of their eyes.  They slay dragons, grab tigers by the tail, protect the most vulnerable amoung us and do it all with a smile, everyday.  It's my honor and privilege to work side by side with them.

September also gives me the "right" to go shoe shopping.  Not like recreational, amateur shoe shopping.  More like major league shoe shopping. 

They don't call me Imelda for nothing.

September ushers in new car models (yes, I've been having the convertible-sportscar-mid-life crisis for the past 10 or 15 years).  I got behind a white Mercedes SL550 roadster tonight that was as sweet as a new-born babe's bottom. 

Note to self - buy more lottery tickets.

Oh excuse me while I get that pesky silver spoon out my mouth..

September skies are a special shade of blue, reserved only for the 30 days between August and October.

September brings back my favorite tv characters, Mer-Der-Steamy-Dreamy-Bailey-Owen-Christina and those interlopers from Mercy West.  Trust Fund Baby Avery can stay - the rest (who are still breathing) must go.  Can it be true that this is the final season?  If the creator would just hear me out, I think I could change her mind.

September returns football to us.  As Hank would say, "Are you ready for some football?!!"  Pre-season is great but actual MNF is vunderbolten, farfignewton, betterthantwochocolatemartinis, great.

And then there is something about the air in September.  The first cool morning, the first brilliant humidity-free Fall-ish afternoon...I breathe deeper and with pleasure.  

Considering my deep seated affinity for the 9th month (and sapphires),  maybe being born in September was a fore-gone conclusion...

Georgia faction up for a visit beginning Friday, and I leave for Cali on Saturday so I'm sure it will be mid-month before you hear from me again.
Until then friends, I hope you too find reason to celebrate September.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camera practice

While I'm learning how to use my new camera, there will be practice pictures posted here periodically, pardon the alliteration.  Feel free to ignore, or make suggestions regarding the photos.  For those shutterbugs out there, I'm using a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS.  It's been 20 years since my last photography class, so I'm way behind the curve.  Lots to learn. 

Portrait with Flash (too harsh):

Super Macro:


Natural low light:

Sepia tone:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a fly-by

Hi Everybody!   This is just a fly-by posting.

I was off work with hubby who had oral surgery today.  Oh yeah, nuttin' but fun.  However, it was one of the finest days I can remember all summer.  The weather was beautiful, I wore jeans and sandals all day, and even had time to go to the store and make a delicious dinner before 7:30P.   The heat and humidity have finally loosened their grip on us so even the evening dog walk is much more enjoyable. 

Tomorrow is MIL's 94th birthday (shhhh....you didn't hear it from me). 

Tomorrow, we'll spend the evening with her and probably some fried chicken.

As a very early birthday present to me, hubby gave me a new Canon digital camera to take with me to SF!  I'm super excited to learn all about it.  Susan, over at Plays With Needles, has posted some helpful info about some online photography courses which she credits for improving her camera skills, which I must say, were fantabulous to begin with.  Skip on over there and check her out.  O the eye candy she feeds us!

This weekend is my last before leaving for San Fran on the 4th. Which means laundry, laundry, packing, checklists, etc. Family from Georgia will be in a week from tomorrow, so if I'm smart, I'll go ahead and pack this weekend. With a pre-7 am flight, I'm thinking I won't be up for any last minute preparations.

My classes at National are #1) Marsha Papay Gomola's stumpwork:

which should only take me about seventy-eleven years to finish.

and #2) Carolyn Standing Webb's Finishing class which I will use to put together the stumpwork set, in the year 20next-to-never.


I couldn't be more excited. 

Enjoy what's left of your summer friends.  The ol' blue marble is coming 'round the bend, rolling right on into Fall.  

Aahhhhhhhh. I like the sounds of that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And the Winner Is...


Congratulations Lindsey! 
Your total prize package includes three gorgeous skiens of Watercolors by Caron, a Sekas Fall Leaves chart, a Just Nan lil bird kit, a mother of pearl ruler, a Annie's Keepers organizing sample pack and a tiny little JABCO blackbird stick pin.  Sekas charts, Watercolors, mother of pearl tools, and new organizing systems rate really high on my 'Gotta Love It' scale. 

Here's hoping you'll enjoy them to the fullest!

I'll be emailing you privately for your snail mail address if I don't hear from you today. 

Thank you one and all for your sweet comments!  I sincerely appreciate it when you take time to leave me a comment.   They warm my heart everytime I read them.

Have a wonderful weekend Friend!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

2nd Blogoversary Giveaway

Well well well.  What do you know.  I TOTALLY missed my own blogoversary yesterday!  Should give you some clue about how totally consumed I've been by my work lately.  I'm not even going to get started about the whole nasty mess, but believe me when I say that I'll be so glad when October rolls around. 

But my lack of awareness should not negatively impact you nice people, now should it?   No.  I agree.

So even though I'm a day late (and a dollar short), I'm offering you a chance to enter my "Where's My Head 2nd Blogoversary" giveaway!  Due to my total lack of planning, I don't have a picture to post but consider it an adventure and enter anyway.  :-)  I will promise you that it will be stitching-related and it will be NICE!

To enter, leave me a comment on this post only along with your email address if you don't have a blog (and I don't have it already).  I will consult the oracle next Saturday morning, 8/21 for a winner. 

Until then friends, stay cool and find time to stitch!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Being between KC and SF is better than...

being between the devil and the deep blue sea, or between a rock and a hard place.  I've just wrapped up a business trip to Kansas City and am counting the days till I leave for EGA National in San Francisco! 

Kansas City was one of the weirdest trips I can recall.  Very intense meetings, in a somewhat remote historic (a.k.a. haunted) hotel, topped off with a dash of Lady Gaga.  Strange, I'm telling you. Strange.  The girl can sing though, despite all the weirdness she cloaks herself in.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not rushing out to buy any of her current releases but if she ever records any "vintage Blues" albums, I might just change my mind.  Flying home through some of the worst storm systems I've ever seen wasn't any fun either.  On the upside, both of my flights afforded me the opportunity to renew my relationship with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Sts. Jude, Christopher and Patrick!

For those of you interested in quilting, check out this link:  Pickle Dish, KC Star quilts.


Glad to have KC behind me, San Francisco is calling my name.  I can't even begin to say how excited I am to have the whole week to immerse myself in four of my favorite passions - needlework, travel, sightseeing, and friendship.  I regret that hubby won't be coming too but like he said, "what would I do at a week-long stitchers convention?"  He's right, but I'll still miss him.  I'm sure he'll find something to busy himself with in the Dave Cave while I'm gone.  Thanks to his busy hands, I'm the proud owner of a new solid wood work table for my 'drawing room'.  It beats the heck out of the sawhorses and plywood I've been using!  As soon as I have time and daylight to take a few pics, I'll share.

On the stitching front, I've sent a few small pieces off to the State Fair.  If a friend hadn't volunteered to take them, I wouldn't have sent anything.   This past year has been crappy-poo-poo for stitching so don't be holding your breath for the 'ribbon report'.  Me thinks 2011 will be better!

That's all for me for now friends.  Big day tomorrow. 

Hope you are staying cool wherever you are and finding time to stitch!