Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Windy but beautiful

Yes, the wind will darn near blow you away, but the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day here in Ocean City. The waves are kicking up a bit, but who cares, I'm not going swimming anyway. Yesterday marked the beginning of the second season here in Ocean City. Sunfest which was held Thursday thru Sunday of last week marked the official end of the summer season. And were we busy, good Lord, the folks were here and they were shopping. Debbie L. was here for a convention, and Phyllis Y. also came down and we had a mini retreat over the weekend, so I'm now officially back on track. I don't know how that is possible since I don't think I stitched one thing, but my mind was on track and I was thinking of picking up a needle, it's just that hands weren't connecting with my brain. But...when I got up each morning I stitched like a banshee (I'm assuming they too stitch) from about 4:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. So folks, it's official...I'm back to stitching. The problem now is I'm so backed up (with stitching that is) that figuring out what to pick up next is a problem. I'm swamped with fabric, patterns, etc., and still have so many unfinished projects...HELP!!!! And much to my surprise, I got treats from the girls...and we all know I love my treats. Phyllis brought me the cutest tins, and there were probably 5 of them in the bag (and thank God they still had the chocolate in them). They are so cute and a few of them in different sizes in the shape of a hershey kiss....and then a couple of square tins from Hershey. I can't wait to stitch something for them...it's going to be special. Thanks Phyllis, and Debbie, brought me a pattern that I was dying for and have checked ebay for almost a year a few times a week to see if anyone was trying to sell it. It's a Just Nan stitching case done on pink gingham linen...cute cute and cuter. She also brought me a Merry Cox kit (yes the fabric and thread was in it)... and the Kelmscott Needle minder with the seahorse....all I can say is "SCORE". I am humbled by the generosity of stitchers. Thanks Debbie, I love my new stash. I'll take it one day at a time, but first I still have to finish Theresa W's jamboree ornament/whatever. Debbie brought down many of her almost finished projects, she's been working like a dog...and Phyllis brought down her sheep with every one of his blankets done (well 2 she finished here), and she brought her On The Bay piece which was beautifully stitched. I love their trees, and the finished piece looked just like the oil paintings you see in older Victorian homes. I loved it. And Debbie (also like a child with shiny objects apparently...decided to start and almost finished the new Crescent Color kit with the quarter moon and alphabet. I couldn't believe how quickly she stitched that because she was actually here for a seminar for work). Yesterday as Debbie and Phyllis were saying good bye in walked Shiela F. & Trudy E. to start their retreat. And...they brought gifts for Sara, Mary and me. They brought us black and white cookies from Wegman's. Needless to say, it took me less than 30 seconds to rip into the packaging and take a bite...oh, my these are good. I did hold my self back and ate only 1 yesterday...God only knows what I'll eat today...in fact I'm going back now to get one so I have the strength to finish this blog. My God...we have become a retreat hotel...and thank God. There isn't a stitcher in the world who would cause any problems (or is there), so we love our stitchers. So yesterday afternoon we had show and tell with them (well we didn't show anything, but we were very good about looking at theirs). My God, Shiela must have done 20 ornaments for Christmas gifts...gorgeous and so much work involved. And she finished them herself...beautiful! Trudy brought a Betsy Stinner piece that was lovely as all Betsy's pieces are. She also brought a stained glass piece by Stoney Creek and inserted in their frame and it too was striking, and then she brought out a tray in which she had inserted an iris done on canvas...exquisite. You know after viewing all this beautiful stitching, I was even in more of a mood to stitch so Sara told me to skip working the desk and go on home, which I did so I could get stitching...and I stitched. I see the light at the end of the Theresa Wood tunnel, but it's still a distance away. I really feel I might just complete this before Jamboree...I know I can, I know I can. Now...I've filled you in on stitching, but now I have to rant about something. At the store our policy on closing is...if you are in the shop when we close, you have the right to shop as long as you want. O.K., that said, if you are in the shop after it closes, I mean any shop, would you not feel a little urgency to finish shopping and get out? Well, the two women yesterday felt no such urgency. They strolled around, and talked, and strolled some more and then while one of them looked around the other came to the counter to fascinate me with her tales...which so didn't do the trick. First as so many like to tell me, "I've done one of everything in your store." Well first of all that's a load of crap, even I haven't done one of everything, and frankly judging by the 2 things which she purchased, she wouldn't buy anything over the price of $7.00 to begin with. I mean she talked about needing a new pair of readers until she saw the price was $13.00 and then she decided that was too expensive. And it wasn't so much what she said as the fact that when she said it her eyes rolled back (almost to the back of her head) and her mouth would go into the strangest shape so I was so distracted by that I couldn't quite focus on what she was saying, so I was a mess by the time these ladies left the shop, and tired I have to say. I was thankful it was my last day in the shop this week. I'm just too tired and definitely need a break. It is now Saturday night and I'm finishing up some of the work on my desk...long overdue. I can't figure out how it keeps accumulating...I get it down and the next day it's piled up again. anyway, Shiela and Trudy left today so we are without retreaters at the moment, however, Staci B. and Ruth S. are due in next week along with the stitchers from the Delware Valley Guild...oh, we're excited. Now, I would be remiss if I didn't discuss Survivor which had it's 2 hour debut on Thursday (I think it was). Anyway, how long has this show been on...7 or 8 years and wouldn't you think by now that each person who wants to try out would be watching every episode for tips? Well, apparently Jan (I think her name was) missed all 7 years or the idiot would have know to pick strong men and not pick mothers like herself. For God's sake people you are challenged in strength categories most of the time and who does she pick for her team...every weak person she laid her eyes on. Now that doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with those people...I'm sure they are lovely, but if winning a million dollars depends on your winning challenges based on strength...well so long mom and hello to the big strapping dude standing next to her. Now having said that, she is certainly not the only loose nut that was on her team (they got rid of her 2nd so they won't be able to blame her any longer)...there are a few weak players on that team...in fact, this is going to be a season where I feel the other team will win every challenge. So much for the 60 year olds. You know what is truly sad...I looked at her and thought, my I would never even consider doing this at her age, kudos to this woman, and then they said her age....60...the same as me. I thought the woman was older than I was.... I'm beginning to think perhaps I should look in a mirror and be truthful to myself. I never think of myself as 60...I'm not sure how old I really think I am...but never 60. I also look at the ladies around me who are 60, and I went to school with and they don't look 60 either to me. Am I lying to myself or what? I do live in a fairy wonderland (or at least it seems that way at times). Oh, by the way, the needlework show is still on-line although I think Sunday may be the last day....so if you want to see some new stuff, take a look. They even have a company where they use 4 letter words I'm never allowed to use (although I do)...but I found it shocking to think someone would actually stitch the "F" word and hang it up somewhere. I can't imagine doing such a thing....not that it's wrong should any of you do it. Maybe I'd do it as a joke...no, I don't think I would want anyone thinking I'd stitch it or hang it. I may be a prude...I'll let you know! I'm going to publish this tonight since I've been writing it since the beginning of the week. Have a great Sunday, come on down when you get a chance because there aren't so many people here now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some of us are crazier than others...and I think I've found the craziest one of all!

It's been a while and people are starting to question what's happened to me, but I'm fine, I've just been in the shop morning, noon and night, however, Wednesday night was my last evening shift and now I'll just cover Renee's shift until next week and then I'll be back to normal (well, whatever I consider normal). First the weather update....we did fine during last weeks hurricane, which truth be told was nothing but a little wind down here. We saw very little rain and certainly not the rain that usually comes with this kind of storm, and I have to say the guests in Ocean City didn't even bother to leave town. They were out and about even in the windest of moments (which by the way is not a safe thing to do because there is flying debris). We even opened for half a day in the shops and then I said the heck with it, let's take a day off (half day off) and Pat and I closed up and went home. This week the weather hasn't been the best. While it hasn't rained it's been overcast every day and we've seen the sun only once late in the afternoon, but I have to tell you that didn't stop the Bike Week bikers. My God, there are millions of them (or does it just seem that way?) But these are not the "hells angels" bikers, they are your next door neighbor kind of bikers (mostly..there are just a few who look like they could qualify for the hells angels though). And while it's really noisy with the engines being reved for 40 minutes before they pull out of the parking spot, it's all in good fun and we'll live through it. Now my crazy lady story...I have had an unfortunate event take place....it's really aggravating more than anything, no it's not so much aggravating as irratating.... and I can tell you I have found someone who could qualify for the craziest person I've met...no I haven't met her so she's just crazy, and I do mean certifiable....but that's just my opinion. Now I'll let you form your own opinion. Judy T. and Debbie L. had flown to Ireland last year to take a C.A. Wells class. Judy just loved her and has taken several classes from her. Debbie also enjoyed the class and was looking forward to another as well. So I decided to try to get C.A. down here to teach. Now getting in touch with her is like contacting the Pope...you know she's there but you have to jump through hoops. The one time I finally got in touch with her she couldn't talk because she was on her way to Europe (I have found that's her reasoning every time you are fortunate or perhaps that's unfortunate enough to get in touch with her.) Anyway, long story short I handed the job of getting this woman down here to Sara because after a couple of weeks of e-mailing and messages on her answering machine I was less than thrilled to deal with her. So Sara started the process. She did speak with her (just a moment though as she was leaving for Europe...I don't know why the hell she answers the phone is she's on the way out the door to Europe, and if she isn't on her way out, then she has 5 minutes to discuss her class.) So...she agreed to come and then it was time to pick what we wanted to do. That actually went smoothly...about the only thing that did. (another shop owner had given me a warning about C.A., so I was always expecting trouble). Last week Sara got an e-mail or call asking us how many attendees we had coming so she could get her supplies ordered before her (you guessed it) trip to Europe. So Sara informed her that at this point we had 13 attendees, however, we were having 2 big events in the next month and we felt certain that we could get the 2 more she said she needed, but we couldn't guarantee it...so we said 13. She said, "Oh Sara I am sorry to cancel but I have to have 15 students in EACH class. With the travel and materials and time/expense it just doesn't make sense to teach for less than a full class. Again, I am sorry to cancel---I was so looking forward to meeting you and Sally." (that is the e-mail she sent) So I e-mailed her and I said, "I'm curious to know C.A. exactly what expense are you incurring since I pay all your transporation costs, food, lodging, the fee to have you teach here for the weekend, and the kits, so what fees are you speaking of?" And her reply was....get ready for this.... "the expense of my time." She cancelled because 13 people apparently isn't worth traveling here to teach...2 more would have made it worth her time. Now this people, is the craziest thing I have ever heard (and I've heard a lot), so C.A. Wells, becomes the craziest woman, in my opinion, especially in the needlework field (and again, I've meet some doozies). The expense of her time...I'm not sure I'll ever get over her telling me that. I had Ruth Sparrow teach here when there were only 6 or 8 of us at the time. I've never once had a teacher care if there were 2 or 20...they get paid the same fee/hour or day whether there are 2 0r 20. So what the hell difference does it make for God's sake. Well to C.A. Wells, the difference between coming and not coming. Now you may wonder why I didn't just lie and say 15, well first, because I shouldn't have to...and secondly, I would have had to pay for the 6 kits and if you don't attend the class she doesn't let you keep the kits...so she would have had the money for 6 kits which would have been back in her hands to resell. I think it's a shame in an industry which is struggling to keep people interested and involved, and bring new people in, that this woman has this elitest attitude. However, she does, she's out and everyone who did sign on for the weekend will be receiving their deposits back. And that's my crazy lady story for the day. Fortunately, she is the only person I have had contact with who has used that excuse. So the next time IRS sends me a letter saying they need a copy of something I'm just going to write them back and say it wasn't worth the expense of my time to search for it.... Saturday morning...well another night of Harleys zooming down the street and I could deal with that, but the Harley next door which they reved up for at least 20 minutes this morning right outside my window...well, that was a bit much and now I want them gone...gone I say...as I have a monster head ache from it all. And our "stalker" is back once again so my Sara is freaking out. As you may know, we have lost all but one of our foreign workers...and while at this point it's almost a relief, that does mean that we, the few that are left, are having to do multiple jobs. Add that to having Renee out for a week means I am unavailable since I've been in the shop for both shifts and Sara has had to man her shop and there are days where Vernon has to man his shop and Mary is stuck at the desk and has Solomon. And of course we don't have the luxury of Roy in the laundry room since he had the nerve to pass away in June. The children were very optomistic in June but by September that optomistism has turned to pessimism and I can tell you it's been tough keeping the ship afloat. So when a fresh face (I use the term loosely) showed up asking for a job, Sara and Mary jumped at the chance to get someone doing the yard work and laundry room. This young man is from Nepal, and no offense to Nepal, the only 3 other workers from there were fired with a weeks time, so I wasn't holding out too much hope for this guy, and it's a good thing. Vernon and Sara would show him how to do something, like fold a towel, and they would go back into the laundry room a few minutes later and he couldn't seem to get it right...folding a towel mind you! Forget about sheets, he just rolled them in a ball apparently. From day one I kept saying, "Get rid of him...we only have a few more weeks, Renee will be back next week and I'll take the laundry room...but get rid of him..." but Vernon who wouldn't fire you no matter what you did, kept saying, "no I think he'll get it." So I was up in the shop yesterday (where else) and Vernon comes storming in with steam coming out of his ears and says, "Get his paycheck ... he's too stupid to work here." I asked what he had done this time and apparently Vernon thought perhaps he was capable to painting one of the rockers out front that we use on our porches. Well, apparently he was wrong. Sara says and I quote..."Mom, you know those fake candles they sell which has the dripping wax running down the sides...well that's what the chair looks like...big blobs of paint running all over the place down the rocker and since he was painting in the little bit of sun we had...it's hard so now we have a rocker which has to be sanded down (more work) and repainted completely." So...you would think that firing the young man would be the end....but then you would be so wrong. He refused to take the paycheck so Vernon ended up telling him to take it and leave or Vernon was just going to throw it on the ground and close the door (which is what happened) and then he hung out at the laundry room door for an hour or so just waiting for it to be opened so he could once more ask for a job. This went on for a few times until Vernon threatened to call the police. Last night as Natalie was clocking out she said, "there's a guy from Nepal standing in the hallway who is looking for a job." So Sara looks out and it's him again. It's starting to freak Sara out so I said, "Go tell him we don't need him as we have already hired someone else." So Sara and I walked out and she told him what I said, and he kept asking her to please hire him back and she kept saying, "I don't have a job for you we have someone else doing the job." The problem with the foreign students is they don't understand what you are saying...the problem with this guy is ... well we haven't decided yet, except he doesn't take rejection well. The problem last night is ... a tenant was in the lobby and Sara calling the guy a "stalker" certainly didn't do anything to keep the tenant calm, however, he went out back to see where the "stalker" went because he was concerned for Sara and myself. To me it's all in a days work, but to Sara and the tenant, well, it isn't. So Sara calls Vernon to get him in on it...or to wake him up, I'm not sure. So then Vernon comes down. Now it's time for me to go home, so Sara says, "I'm walking mom out, but make sure you have a walkie talkie on you in case." I said, jokingly, "Get out the stun gun Vernon." And the next thing I knew Vernon was also walking me out. Now I was feeling a little edgy...but I made it home safely, and since everything is where I left it, Sara and Vernon also made it through the night. It's a new day...I can only anticipate the madness that will be our lives today...in the meantime....it's good to be back...and I'll talk to you soon. Thanks for all the e-mails asking if I was alright...good to know I'd be missed if something did happen. Have a great day...here it is perfect, Lots of sun, some humidity but not high, a slight breeze coming off the ocean...yes, it's almost paradise if you were in Motorcycle heaven.