Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pizza School!

Last night was Pizza School. Learned a lot and played a lot!

Monday, April 27, 2009

For Me.

I realize, I write this blog for me. It takes way more time than I have. But yet I find myself thinking throughout the day of different topics, feelings and events that I want to blog about.

Life has thrown me a couple of curve balls lately. One day last week, my right breast was very sore. I could feel a fever. I made my first OBGYN appointment in years and it seems all is ok, but I'll have the mammogram to be sure. The doc didn't give any explanation, but her nonchalance was enough to assuaged my mind. I try not to give too much thought to what can go wrong, to the big C. I don't want what's in my mind traveling. But just because i put the effort not to, means I put more effort to the negative than I like. About 6 years ago, when i felt a lump, which turned out to be only a milk duct hardening, I heard a distinct voice tell me I have 3 years. I was half asleep but it jolted me up right. Well that 3 years has long passed, but still it's always in the back of my mind.

The first curve came during our show last week. Six years ago, I found an equestrian artist whose work I loved. I had actually seen a piece on a fellow vendor at a show in Bend, Oregon. She mentioned the artist lived South off I-5 in Oregon. She explained that the person was trying to get off the road and would be very interested in someone selling her jewelry. I probably would have left it to that, but as we were traveling back down to CA, our slide on our RV malfunctioned. So we had to stop off in Ashland, Oregon, home of the artist whose work I had just been introduced to. I gave her a call. Sher came to the camper and thus a relationship developed. We sold Sher's items ordering pieces I loved, then selling a majority on consignment. It seem to work ok. Turns out pieces were harder to sell than I'd like and that made it less likely for me to buy, but I liked the consignment. And she had her pieces showing in shows as opposed to her having the expense of going far distances and paying exorbitant booth fee. I always payed her after every show and shipped back what she needed.

About three months ago, she and i started working on a consignment piece together. I had a national horse food company wanting a piece for a retiring Olympic dressage rider that they sponsored. I gave the work to Sher, I knew she needed it and i also knew she was good. It didn't work out. The big company didn't want to pay the price in the end. They wanted to trade for sponsorship. It didn't jive. I agreed with Sher, that they were not worth it.

So here comes the biggest show of our Equestrian history. Booth space is a premium ($6,500 a pop). We have workers. I retrieved Sher's items from a British women who'd been trying to sell them in the UK. She hadn't sold a one in six months. Sher flies in on Friday and I have 3 cases with her items in it. I introduce her to some potential buyers who are interested in her pieces. She then proceeds to take my customers out of my booth and down another row and start negotiating with them on a pieces that she had brought with her. Sher and I had been in a partnership for 6 years! I was a legit vendor selling in my very expensive real estate! and I had her come up and take my customers out of my booth to trade under the table. Not on.

So I handled it. Probably not the best way, but maybe. Granted I was livid, but I never called her names or criticized her work or went beyond the obvious. I was hurt. She had stabbed me in the back. I took all her pieces down immediately and told her I'd return them as soon as I found time to inventory. So the next day during a break, she got all her items and money for the one piece I sold and the relationship was severed. Funny enough, I had a customer call today, she'd bought a fabulous piece of Sher's at a trade show in Feb. and everyone loved it, esp. her mother, whom she'd like to buy another one for. I gave her Sher's number.

Truly, I hold no hard feelings. I'm hurt, but more than that I feel for her. She has more things to work out than I do when it comes to my regards for her.

So on to better news. I have recently found a cause, I am dedicated to. It is the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. I have met a few of the young survivors and their family. These children are inspiring. The live with brain operations as a regular occurrence and know their chance of a long life is just a chance. This week I helped at a garage sale where the profits go to the PBTF. There were many donations and it was a lot of organizing. So many people came to help, and the family's of children with PFTs were there as well. I'll write more on this as time goes by.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day

Every day we think more and more about our energy consumption. The reason does not have to do so much with saving the planet as it does with spending less money. We have been in the 90's since Monday and we turned on our AC tonight for the first time. Tomorrow will be in the 80's again and then in the 70's for the weekend. I'm kinda bummed about that. I was hoping to be able to play in the pool this weekend. The pool temperature had reached 75 degrees today. Although the solar cover was doing it's thing, we still need about 5-10 more degrees.
We've kept our energy efficient shades down all day, creating darkness and cool temperatures. The tile floors help too.

Yesterday we went to the park and explored alternative ways. Paul and I have even talked about a solar oven for out by the pool. Not that we bake so much anyway. But in the summer time it is not an option.

So here are some pictures from our fun day of learning.

Tara and I both brought salads from our garden. We ate local!

Proof in the ... root beer or potion?

Solar Ovens.

Pine cone bird feeders.

Slushies without electricity!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Monday!

Roses at the office.

He's a Trillionaire

This morning Adrian learned from his Scientific Oregon Globe, that one dollar equals 9, 300 rupiahs in the Republic of Indonesia. This globe sits on the dining room table. His favorite thing is to learn about the world. He figures he can live like a king on his allowance. I'm wishing I had one of his soon to be servants to serve us our drinks by the pool today.

Now he's busy learning about the NBA, investments and banking while we play his most favorite game-NBA Monopoly. Last week while we worked the World Cup he practiced his social skills, learned about managing employees and how to compensate when problems arise with employees, how to get rid of bad relationship diplomatically and that when things are not going your way, figure out a better way.

I was impressed the way he shook hands with everyone who was eager to see him and looked into their eyes when he spoke to them.

Hmm. I wonder what the kids in school learned last week?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So much more to come...

Life is too full lately. But here's A helping dad with some remodeling and Easter Egg hunting Las Vegas Style!