Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Final Goodbye with Honors . . .

Karen asked me to share this with all of you – of course, if you are in our area you are invited to attend . . .

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Cleaning Out My Cell Phone Pictures . . . and An Absence Excuse

Other than a brief appearance last Friday when the Distress Color of the Month came out, I have been off the grid – again – for a month.  So it’s time to catch up.  This will be in mostly chronological order, with some minor detours along the way . . .

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This is my daughter-in-law Emily – I took this pic last Saturday as she prepared to drive off in her new (to her) car.  A frantic Ryan called me about 30 minutes before the Allentown show closed on March 29 to tell me that Emily had totaled her car and he was on his way home from work.  Thankfully, though the car was totaled, Emily and Anakin (the puppy) were not – they escaped with bruises and general soreness.  So for all of April, Ryan, Carla, Mary (Emily’s mom) and I ferried Emily back and forth to work until all of the hoops were jumped through and she was ready to car-hunt.  Her former supervisor now works at a car dealership and got her a sweetheart deal on a really nice car.

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Meanwhile, my own car was approaching the magic 100,000 mile mark.  I knew it was coming for weeks, anticipated the magic moment when it would turn over – even knew it was going to happen on my way home from work.  And I missed it . . .

The day after I got home from Allentown, Carla went to her mom’s to spend a week helping her through her second cataract surgery (the first was in early March).  This left Zoe, the cats and me Home Alone again – and we had a really nice Easter week, until I got sick the day after Easter.  This actually worked well for me – I prefer to be left alone when I’m under the weather, and Zoe is a great nursemaid.  But even after I thought I had recovered, I was uncomfortable off and on for the rest of the month.  It wasn’t enough to keep me from doing my job, but by the end of the day I was exhausted and cranky, and unable to do much else.  I finally started going to doctors and practitioners trying to get an answer, and it wasn’t until two weeks later that tests determined that I had passed a kidney stone.  Most people have their agony and discomfort before passing the stone and feel great after – my “agony and discomfort” lasted only about 20 seconds.  But I learned that there are an unfortunate (or fortunate) few that experience several weeks of discomfort after the fact – and that was me.  So that’s why I disappeared.

But I still did two shows in April, and thought I put on a pretty good act in spite of myself . . .

The first was in Cambridge, Maryland the third weekend in April.  My brother-in-law and his family live about 2½ hours from Cambridge, so I arranged to take his middle daughter, Mary, with me and visited with them for a couple of days before we left for the show.  Mary doubled up with her older sister and allowed me to use her room, and while I was there I realized how much she was looking forward to our trip together.

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Her calendar told it all.  And she was pretty excited about bouncing down the road in the passenger seat of our truck.

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This was Mary’s first experience at a show – and fellow vendors were amazed.  They thought she had been doing this for years.  I told her afterward that we have had professionals at our demo table who didn’t do half as well as she did.

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Cambridge also featured a Kathy Krivitski Sighting – Kathy spent the entire show pushing her walker in circles around the convention hall chasing after her granddaughter, Gracie.  Longtime blog readers will remember that Gracie and her parents (Danielle and Chris) were on our prayer list for a while before she was born – I can attest to you that Gracie is one constant ball of energy today.

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The next weekend, we were in Akron for Adventures in Stamping.  Karen made the trip along with her own personal support group from the store (several of them pictured here), and spent the weekend collecting hugs from fellow vendors and other shoppers.

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And I had to get this – this is Linda Malcom from Lost Coast, and the hitchhiker is her best friend Daisy.  You would be amazed – Daisy never strays from Linda’s side, no matter where she goes.  And she came that way – Linda never had to train her.

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Way-too-long awaited items are finally starting to arrive – we got some Dylusions Paints in mid-April (not nearly enough, Ranger – you have done a pitiful job of releasing your products this season, but more are expected from another supplier next week), and Mixed Media finally arrived from Sizzix a couple of days ago after the dockworkers out west finally freed them from the shipping container they had been sitting in for months.

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Earlier this week, I went on a much-needed golf trip to Hard Labor State Park near Rutledge, GA.  Such a relaxing time with good friends – and I haven’t laughed so hard in years.  I took these pics on the same hole – not a common sight on a golf course.

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This is a bridge overlooking another hole – the road that led to it is long-gone, but I was able to walk out and get a close-up look.

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The local inhabitants were not afraid of us at all – that speck at right is a squirrel (black in the front and brown in the back) that spent all three days greeting us on the same hole.  No matter how close we got to him (?), he just watched us and continued with his own business.

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We stayed in a brand new cabin – there was still sawdust on the steps leading to the screened-in porch.  And one evening it was just too nice to stay inside – we played a board game on the picnic table while grilling.

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One final view and I think I’m caught up – Zoe is shedding mightily, and this is the pile of fur that I removed from her hindquarters with a curry comb last night.  To give you some perspective, I filled a three-gallon bucket with that pile before I headed to the garbage can.

So if my health permits, I’ll give you short bursts on a more regular basis for a while . . .

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Distress Color of the Month

Here it is – the May Distress Color of the Month . . .

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Order yours now – get all six items and save 20% off the MSRP with free shipping in the Continental U.S. -- http://bit.ly/1GCyNWd

And yes, I know I have been off the grid again – several of you have asked about me.  April was pretty much a “lost month” in many respects – I’ll bring you up to speed at some point . . .

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Didn’t Know She Had It In Her . . .

Talked with Mom and Dad last night on my way home from the bowling alley – Dad spent much of the time adding details to some pictures he texted to Blake and me during the week.

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Mom has started hiking with him.  Not the “All-Day-20-Mile-Hikes-With-4,000-Feet-In-Elevation-Changes” kind of hikes that he subjects us to – but much more challenging than I expected.  You need to understand – my mom loves to walk and often walks several miles at a time, but she prefers her walking paths to be paved.  So she has rarely joined Dad on the trails – until now.

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Dad, Blake and I walked past these rocks about a month ago, going and coming from “The Dome”.  This is one of my favorite spots around Tucson . . .

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I have climbed up on those rocks several times over the years (this one was taken last year).  It’s not an overly strenuous hike to this spot, so I assumed that Mom was just humoring Dad with short stints on the trails.

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And then he sent me this . . . and I went into shock.

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Blake and I stood between these rocks in a howling wind five years ago.  This is the Bug Springs Trail off Mount Lemmon Highway well above Tucson . . .

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And getting to that spot involves doing stuff like this!  When we hiked this trail, Dad hadn’t discovered hiking poles yet.

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Thankfully, Mom was able to take advantage of them – Blake and I have seen those rocks as well.  But she said her thighs were really sore the next day. 

I really wish we had been there to see this in person – the words I have typed here really don’t express my astonishment (and pride).

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hello and Goodbye . . .

This is the hello – to the April Distress Color of the Month . . .

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I guessed purple . . . again . . . and it wasn’t . . . again.  But Fossilized Amber will be coming soon – order yours now!  The complete set is 20% off the MSRP with free shipping in the Continental U.S.

And this is the goodbye – today, we gathered in the classroom at our store to celebrate a life.

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David’s family put together a display board filled with photos from his life.

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From where I was standing, I could get only about half of the people who gathered.  It was a memorial that David would have enjoyed – we swapped stories, laughed and cried, and shared good food.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Arrangements . . .

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Memorial Gathering for David Ihle

A Memorial Gathering in honor of David Ihle will be held at Marco’s Paper, 25 West Whipp Road, Centerville, OH 45459 on Friday, April 3, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

After a Prayer and Scripture Reading, his family will share memories and thoughts of David.  They also invite any other family and friends to share their memories and stories. 

One of the things David enjoyed most was Marco’s potluck luncheons with our customers.  If you’d like to bring a favorite dish to share, please feel free.

In lieu of flowers, to help the family with medical expenses and funeral costs, donations may be made to:

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/david-ihle-memorial/330648

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Loss in the Marco’s Family . . .

Please keep Karen, her children (Michael, Scott & Ashley) and their families in your prayers.  There is no easy way to say this, especially when it’s unexpected – David Ihle died this morning. 

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For the locals, he was the big guy sitting at our front counter telling stories – and on the road he ran a cash register in our booth for several years.  He has been part of our “family” since the mid-70s when he started as a pressman in our small print shop – which is what we were for a long time before the crafters discovered us and changed all of our lives.  Arrangements will follow when we know more.