Taking a Look at the Week Gone By

Friday is a good day to take stock of the week - check things off the list and add others for tomorrow and next week. Or... make a new list and burden the week-end with finishing up the left-overs. That's what happens to me.

Monday: Labor Day started off in the quiet of a back road in PA
And that was good.
You can hear  the farmer and his tractor out in a near-by field and that's about all the environmental noise we have there.  And, the real blessing was that the traffic was not too heavy driving home. The noise in the car comes from cat's whining to screaming from the insult of being in her cat-carrier for the trip.

So I turn up the volume on Sirius Radio - 50s on 5 and tune her out.

Tuesday: The highlight of this day was my 4 pm APPLE CLASS.  I was scheduled for a one-to-one session to learn more about the up-graded PAGES app
on my new computer. What a blessing! The teacher was excellent and he brought a lot more to the session because he is also a video/graphic artist. Well, he opened my eyes to the real breadth and value of this $20 App - that makes it worth much more than that. Before I have only focused on the word processing talents of Pages - let me tell you its a graphics program and makes the projects where I need graphic design skills a breeze.  - If you have never used a graphics program you might have to struggle a bit initially but PAGES is so user friendly that soon your letters and flyers and one-sheeter marketing tools will look as snappy as the reports your sixth graders is turning in to his/her teacher. I left excited and happy and went right out and scheduled my next Pages class for Friday - that's today.

Had a chat with John Fowler confirming arrangements for my being a featured storyteller at the Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival in Pickens, SC on October 19. Really looking forward to do that! Especially the chance to hear John's music and storytelling again. So enjoyed his work at the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival last April. SO - -  in the background of everything today I am thinking about and rehearsing stories for my gigs tomorrow and Thursday.

Wednesday: A 10 am gig telling stories for the Nimble Fingers Quilting Guild meeting in Rockville. If you are thinking of ten women sitting in rockers or stitching a quilt together - forget it. Revision to a large church meeting room packed with smiling, laughing and happy quilters carrying heavy bundles of their summer work to share at the SHOW AND TELL. And when it was time about 40 women lined up toward the front of the room to hold their work in the spot light. It was a glorious display of top notch works in vibrant colors in sizes from a small lap quilt to an over-size king size quilt. Impressive and I was so glad to be there to see it. I saw women I had not seen in a long time whose work was more beautiful than I remembered. Just say, I left there with fabrics and colors on my mine and my hand itching to open my fabric bins and to set up my sewing machine. And a resolve: I AM doing that this month. Add that to my list.

Made home in time for the internet chat with the participants in the Word Press Web Site Class I am taking. The class is good but I have to admit I have fallen behind. I do have a new website on line: ellouiseschoettler.com and I have made it this far but have a much longer way to go to make it look good. At this point its functional and I am happy with that for time being. My other site is too over-done, touts things I don't do or want to do anymore and sadly I can't work on the program myself. SO....... learning to do something myself.

By the way the quilters at Nimble Fingers loved my stories. I did not tell stories about quilts - I told stories that I thought would appeal to quilters and to women who love fabric from The Thrifty Tailor to several of my personal stories that celebrate "second hand clothes",  and a new story I am telling lately, " The Sock Hop" which reminds you how sometimes being 13 was an emotional roller coaster.
I had not known for sure what I would tell until I saw the crowd, enjoyed their quilts and felt the "air" in the room. Donald Davis told me that's what he does - sees who is there - and then he selects his stories. Makes sense doesn't it - you don't plan a conversation until you are sitting across from the person - well - not unless you are selling something or going to ask for a favor.

Thursday: Worked all morning on a new one-sheeter using PAGES because I needed to take it in the evening to HEARarts where I was telling stories. I love the APP and am learning how to use it faster than I expected to  - because its bringing back the stuff I learned in PageMaker classes when I was working for the Audubon and designed flyers and cards all the time. The brain is a great storage bin isn't it?  I am not saying this version is it perfect - yet- but it is OK and I used it. Printed it on Jim's great copier in his office downstairs and I was ready to go.

Shared the gig at HEARarts in Rockville with an exciting musical duo - Victoria Vox and Katie Chambers. Victoria is the lead performer - a singer, songwriter and ukele virtuoso - and Katie is a cellist who provides fabulous counterpoint with that deep-toned cello. I had not known what to expect but I loved their sets. Victoria's song are edgy, storied, and the music catches hold - - and wow - can she sing.

Our audience was forty strong in a fabulous room with a great sound system that over-looked down town Rockville through a plate glass wall. I was the first story-teller invited to the series which has been going on for several years. Usually they have poets and readers. I was a bit nervous - but why? We know people love stories - and they did. I was encouraged going in when a woman I recognized told me she had heard the NPR anouncement on WAMU this morning. "I have heard you tell before - and I came to hear you." That's a great way to calm any doubts. I looked at them and decided that its September, everybody remembers the Day They Started the First Grade - so I told my story about the day I did which includes some WWII history, a reminder how Polio once threatened children and wound up with my dog. Smiling and nodding recognition told me they loved it. Followed that with another school story of Jr. High School where adolescents suffer but sometimes the teacher really does come through, saves the day, and teaches an important growing-up lesson.

After my experience last night I know I will come back on a First Thursday to hear others at HEARarts in the stunning building which houses VisArts.

Today I am going back to Apple for another session on Pages -AFTER I clean my house and pay the bills.

So I am pleased and I smile as I look back on this week, count my blessings and feel very grateful - but I can't help it - underneath
it all 
I miss Jim and his being here to share in these good days.

I have learned this - when you see someone who is grieving and you say - looks like you are really doing well-
they have fooled you 
you are talking to a really GOOD actor
or storyteller
but that's OK - its just he way it is.

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