Friday, September 01, 2006

Lamenting Summer

I have no idea where the summer went. Here it is, the first of September, Don't birthday just next weekend, and I don't honestly feel like I had any summer at all. Annie and Alex were here the first two weeks in August, and it was heaven, but how on earth could that have been two whole weeks? It seems like they came, they were here about sixteen minutes and then---POOF!--they were gone. Chris was here for five days, at the end of the visit, and that seemed like only a moment. ZAP! Gone. I loved having Annie, Chris and Alex here so much. Having a baby around, all the stuff that a baby requires, made the whole house feel lived in and used and full of family and love. It was heaven. Now I'm really looking forward to Jennie's visit in November for Connie's birthday.

It seems like the Arts Festival was over last week but already I have attened two meetings for next year's, our 50th, festival. I was present at my first executive board meeting as a member at large. I was glad to be included and hope that I will have some good ideas for the board in general. It's a new job, one I've never held before, so I'm still sort of feeling my way. We also had the retreat last Saturday. Susan and I thought, all in all, it went well. There are always things with which you could quibble, but it ended on time (!!!) and we covered most of what was on the agenda. A four hour retreat is fine by me! Susan and I need to start designing the "Save the Date" idea we have so we can present it to the board and get going on it. We'd like to be able to use the magnets, or whatever it ultimately will be (a postcard with a magnet?) all year long, so we'd best get moving.

I had a bit of a disaster at Grant Creek, that would have been MUCH worse. I got up last Monday morning and walked out through the dining room on my way to the deck to admire the view when I squished through the carpeting. Squishing through carpeting is never a good thing. I could not figure out where the water was coming from as there was nothing on the kitchen floor. I finally tracked it down to the reverse osmosis unit under the sink. I figured out how to turn it off and called a plumber. It took him six minutes (total) and $166 to tell me that it was caused by a sticker blocking the drain in the unit. That sticker must have been on or in the unit, since it was installed, and finally loosened over the years. I don't know how bad it might have been had I not been there that Monday morning. I guess I should be thankful I had wasps nesting in the ventilators on the roof and so had to say over an extra night to wait for the exterminator! I shudder to think what it would have been had I not caught it in time. As it was, I think the carpet was about 80% dry by the time I left Monday night--wasp free.

Nonie and I had a fun Sunday in La Conner. We hadn't been up there in well over a year, so it was really fun to go to Bunnies by the Bay and see all the changes there. I bought a lot of things for Emma for Christmas, some books for both the girls, a gift for Annie for Christmas (not that dumb, Annie, I know you read this blog!!! HA! Foiled again!) and an antique Chinese baby hat. Now I have one for each of the girls. Someday maybe I'll pass them on to them, but for now, they are mine and whenever my eye falls on them in my bedroom, I think of my little grandbabies and smile. Ah. Oh, back to La Conner. There is a little steam-driven launch operating tours there now, called the La Conner Belle, I think. We took the last tour of the day, for a measly $10, and had the time of our lives. The launch was surprisingly quiet. I don't know why I expected it to be so much louder, but it was very quiet. We saw a harbor seal and several herons fishing along the shoreline. The captain took us south down the channel and out into the bay, through Hole in the Wall. I had never been down the channel before so that was fun. Surprisingly echo-y under the Rainbow Bridge. We passed by a falling down group of buildings along the shore that used to be a boat building business. It's very interesting and looks rather like a skeleton of a building. The captain said he thought it would make a good painting and I have to agree! I may try it myself sometime. That was about the best $10 I have ever spent on entertainment. It was a perfect day, too....sunny and warm, late afternoon light twinkling off the water, but not too hot and not too crowded in the channel that late in the afternoon. After our boat ride we had dinner at what used to be Palmer's but is now Nell Something. Good food but crummy service. Too bad. Lousy service ruins even the best food.

I received a very nice email from Janie P who said she really liked my mermaid carving for my ATC contribution to the By the Sea trade and wanted to know if I wanted to be part of a swap! What a lovely, unexpected gift to find in my inbox. She is quite an active carver, I understand. She said she and her sister both are contributors to a Carvers Consortioum, whatever that is. I did write her back and say I'd love to be in a swap, but what was a Carver's Consortium, etc. Anyway, it was so nice to have someone write and say she liked my little cards. She also has my Wingin' It card from ArtFest. Her ATC for the By the Sea book is wonderful. It's taken from Mayumi Oda's Sea Goddess woodblock print and her adaptation is lyrical and flowing. She used cobalt ink on a white card, so it is very reminiscent of Japanese ceramics. Someone she has a lovely plastic glossy layer overtop that adds a twinkle that seems like water. It's a very sophisticated card and I love it. It's very flattering to have someone with so much talent compliment me on my first attempts at carving. I feel like a cat with a mouthful of canary feathers....silly but satisfied!