Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hi friends,
Things I have learned this week:
If you don't plan a vacation, you don't go on one.
July is the least pleasant time to be in Utah.
When you express interest in an exchange student, they come.

If your summer is even remotely like mine, it is hot, busy, and gone. I can't believe that it is almost August as I write this. I think this every year. Where did it all go? I have to say that I have stitched a lot--but never enough. Perhaps when it cools off. In spite of our heat, I do know that the seasons are changing. I heard crickets last night as I went to bed and wondered when that happened. Sue tells me that it is darker in the morning when she and Mary do the papers and I believe her. But I haven't yet felt that evening chill in the air that is yet to come.
This past week has been filled with quintessential summer experiences. July 24 is Utah's founder's day and is always filled with fun activities. We had to forego the barbeque as it was simply too hot. But our day--as always--begins with a pioneer parade. Not so much about pioneers--but always fun. Teri stakes out her favorite spot the day before and this year she did an awesome job. Shade the entire time. Then she has her drinks and treats and invites a bunch of friends and family. I'm sorry, but there is just something about a hometown parade. She and her friend, Joanne, call everyone who passes us by their names. We used to get programs, but not so much anymore. That always makes it fun to figure out who is marching by. Teri loves the sweet, elderly "pioneer" queens. Me--I'm a sucker for high school marching bands hauling through 100 degrees with their instruments. And everyone loves the Shriners with their belly dancing band, calliope, and motorized flying carpets. Christian was in the parade with his sophomore class officers. I kept asking what they were riding on, but of course his answers were always a bit vague. Once it was on boats pulled by trucks--then it was on couches in the back of a truck--then finally it was on scooters. I thought that was so nice that someone was lending them little Vespa-like vehicles. How fun! Actually--how naive. When we saw Ogden High coming, we had cameras ready and here came all the kids--except marching band of course--on their little childhood push scooters. We were laughing, and I thought how appropriate. They scooted over to us for a refill on candy to throw out to the kids and away they went. All in all it was a grand success.
That night we went with friends to the rodeo. I'm not really a rodeo kind of person and haven't gone since I was a child, but I have to admit it was a lot of fun. Ogden has a huge rodeo with everything from mutton busters to the crowning of the state rodeo queen. We sat there in that stadium with 13,000 other people, surrounded by our beautiful mountains, and I thought to myself--what a truly Americana day. My only regret was that our exchange student who was coming to us from France didn't make it for any of it. Oh well.
Teri is busy at work changing everything around. Halloween is coming out and already people are ready and excited. I'm sure I will have more to talk about that in the weeks to come. As we hold on to the end of summer, be sure to take a look at Teri's Freedom pillow--pictured below, and the August Baubles. If we get our September Babubles back from Lonii, I will put it up as well. Otherwise watch for it next week.
Well, I have to go on. Even if it is hot where you are, just hug these last few weeks of summer. I hope they are filled with stitching--of course--barbeques, and even a parade.
Until next week--fondly, Tina

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hi friends--at long last,

I just hate spiders. I have always hated them and I expect I always will. When I was young, the sighting of a spider on my bedroom wall would cause a total panic attack. Luckily, I had mother who was sympathetic and patient and would always get rid of them for me. As an adult I have had to become both brave and brazen. When I was newly married, I was quite astounded to learn that Bob was not going to take over my mother's job as exterminator. No matter how much I begged. He would lie in bed reading under a tarantula on the ceiling and tell me how spiders are part of the ecosystem blah, blah, blah while I tearfully got the vacuum out and chased them down. Even Teri is less than sympathetic to me as she spends time coaxing them into little cups and taking them outside. For a few years I did have Peter who would get them for me, but he is unwilling to hang around the house in case one appears. OK--I admit I am a mass spider murderer and I can smack them with a shoe and send them spiraling down the nearest toilet with hardly thought. Well, the point of all this is that when we had trauma on our website the last 2 weeks--it would be a spider. After hundreds of hours on the phone to our server, distressed customers and even their computer people, we found out that hackers put spiders into things that get onto your website and cause havoc. Even after all this, I still don't really understand it, and I truly wish it had been as easy to fix as a Viva paper towel and a good flush. Thanks to Kristin, we have it solved and it shouldn't happen again. It didn't seem to adversely affect many computers, but I sincerely apologize for those that it did. Anyway, during this time, I hardly dared to write on my blog, because I hardly dared open the site. So, now, hopefully I will be able to write each week.

Summer is whipping by in all its hot and sticky manner. The shop is busy, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. It seems like all Lynnette and I have done for months is relentlessly make market kits to send out. It is fun, though, and keeps us hopping. Next week, I will include a few pictures of some of the new things we have going in the shop. Wait until you see the new Prairie Moon piece Cat and Spider--speaking of spiders.

Sorry, it is almost 6:00 and everyone is ready to go. I guess I am just going to send this so that you know that we are still alive and well out here. I promise to write earlier next week and hopefully something a tad more interesting. Our stitching group and others are planning an excursion of Mama Mia on Monday night. Can't wait. Have a hot, safe weekend.

fondly, Tina