Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catching Up . . .

Before I do anything else, I owe a very heartfelt Thank You! from my family to all of you who took the time to send responses to the blog piece about my mom that I wrote on Monday.  I printed every one of them and took them to her on Tuesday afternoon – she was simply overwhelmed by all of the prayers and good wishes from people all over the world that she has never met.  Dad read them too – I talked with him on the phone this morning and he quoted a couple of them.

Mom is doing great – still hasn’t had the first bit of nausea, the lump on her neck is already getting smaller, and she’s starting to get her energy back.  My mom’s “glass” is always half-full – she went to get her hair done this morning.  Today is Day Seven, and she was assured that her hair would start to surrender sometime between Days Ten and Fourteen – but a couple of you told her that you didn’t lose yours, and she has decided to enjoy hers for as long as she can.  We are truly thankful.

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We now return you to our regularly scheduled fun and frivolity . . .

I just cleared my phone of some pictures that I took during my travels over the past month.  I’ll just post them with a quick comment under each – some of these are really random . . .


This was on Saturday at the Anderson, SC show.  I just get a kick out of the husbands who can go to sleep anywhere.  If I had pulled back a little, you would see that he was surrounded by excited shoppers.


Yes, that is a refrigerator in the back of the truck – it is now beside the classroom in our store.  Peggy Gould brought it to Anderson – she and her husband donated it to us.  This shot was taken just before I surrounded it with boxes and boxes and boxes full of Tweety Jill books that I picked up from a fulfillment warehouse in Georgia after the Anderson show.

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We had a special guest during teardown after the Fort Wayne show.  Robin and Keia Arnold help us at several shows during the year – they live near Decatur (about half an hour away), and when Robin’s husband Phil came to help tear down the booth, he brought Kisha along with him.  She had a great time visiting with us while we worked – and she was much more patient than Zoe would have been in similar circumstances!


Awwwwwwwww …

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Within hours after I got home from Fort Wayne, I was on my way to Tims Ford State Park near Winchester, TN (about 90 minutes SE of Nashville) for three days of golf and fellowship.  This is the nicest of the courses we have played over the past few years – partly because the weather was absolutely perfect (no clouds, no wind, temps about 80).

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Yes, I shot these with my cell phone and no zoom lens – they were right next to the fairway and didn’t seem to be bothered by us at all.  Late each afternoon, hundreds of deer came out to feed all over the park – these shots were taken in some trees between two fairways.

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My birthday was on the Sunday of the York show.  This was only the third time that my mom hasn’t seen me on my birthday (all three because I was at shows).  But there are perks – Bev Parnell and Sue Bomboy brought goodies before the show started on Saturday (they were escorted to the booth by the promoter).  Bev brought a homemade cake, homemade treats for Zoe, and a card, and Sue brought homemade chocolates from the family candy company in Maryland.  All of this was seriously good stuff!

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The outside and inside of Bev’s birthday card.  Bev has never met Zoe, but she understands – when I read it, I had to wipe a tear from my eye.


After the show Saturday, I went to Walmart and bought some forks and plates.  Sunday morning, I shared Bev’s cake with my fellow vendors.  I even caught Steve from Toomuchfun sneaking back for seconds (so did I) . . .


This is Rebecca Parkes – she is the new National Sales Manager at Faber-Castell.  She wanted to experience a show for the first time, so when she told me she was coming to York, I offered her a seat at our demo table for part of Saturday.  If you were there, you might have noticed the “newbie light” flashing on her forehead . . .


This is Pam Rhinehart – she was the courier for my friend Judy Jackson, who couldn’t make it to the show.  Judy needed one of the wafer thin Sizzix plates, and e-mailed in early September to see if I would bring one to York and Pam would pick it up.  With the way my memory has been lately, I immediately took one out and put it on the seat of the truck.  I should have collected stickers for it like an old-time suitcase – by the time it was picked up, that plate had gone from Ohio to Kentucky to Tennessee to North Carolina to South Carolina to Georgia to Tennessee to Kentucky to Ohio to Indiana to Ohio to Indiana to Ohio to West Virginia and finally to Pennsylvania!  That “Ohio to Indiana to Ohio to Indiana to Ohio” was not a glitch – I came home on Friday evening before the Fort Wayne show to announce the local high school football game (it was homecoming).


This is another husband who “gets it” – he came in with his wife on Saturday morning, she just about ran to Sue Rothamel to grab a seat in front of her performance, and he settled in with a couple of magazines.  I think he was there for about two hours.


And this was my favorite fellow at the York show.  He was in a pretty long line waiting to get to my cash register.  I hadn’t seen him yet, but I heard him talking about a craft festival where his daughter and granddaughter had a booth that weekend.  What I heard most was “You wouldn’t believe this town – the population is no more than 3,000 but on this weekend every year they have more than 350,000 people on Main Street . . .”  At that point, I interrupted and finished his sentence – “. . . all because of sauerkraut.”  He gave me a bewildered “How did you know?” – and I responded, “Because I live there.”  It is truly a small world when I’m 450 miles from home and the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival is still a topic of conversation.

So now my phone camera is clear, and I’m caught up (I think) . . .


  1. Greg, I hope you golfed well at Tim's Ford. I live in TN, and I think our state parks' golf courses are some of the finest! That one is particularly nice...played it myself 5 years ago. Next time, try the Bear Trace courses, too.

  2. Wish I had played better, but the course was so nice that I still enjoyed myself thoroughly! And Tim's Ford is one of the Bear Trace courses . . .

  3. Such good news about your Mom. Hope that she's one of the lucky ones and never looses her hair, but if she does it'll grow back. Keeping her and all of you in my thoughts. Keep us posted on her, please!

  4. such good news about your mom, losing her hair is a small price to pay for a longer healthier life. still stinks tho.

  5. Glad to hear you still had fun at the shows. Happy belated birthday to you. Also glad to hear your Mom is having such good news already!! Hope her treatments continue to go wel!! Keep us posted!