Sunday, July 16, 2006

It is what it is

Life, that is. Or, one of my favorite quotes - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon.

It's not all that dramatic. I've just been busy. With life.

There's the computer, which is still acting just a few megabytes short of a full deck. Does that work as an analogy? Or would that be simile? One uses "like" or "as", the other doesn't. Well, dang, I'm sure you get the idea. So I've been trying to salvage what I can before having to do something drastic. Of course it's my own damn fault for putting off regular computer housekeeping and filing tasks. But let's not point fingers, shall we. I went through over five reams of copy paper yesterday and finally printed out all my journal and writing files. And yes, I know, there's this trick where you can just burn a file to CD and then you'll have it all neat and tidy on a small silver circle instead of a stack of paper the size of a small microwave. Of course this assumes you're computer will burn the files IN the file holder instead of burning a file with just all the file names inside it. Or randomly selecting a dozen files to include. It also assumes your CD Burner is willing to work.

Sigh. I still have a lot more to do. Save. Salvage. Whatever. And then I'm gonna go for the drastic "clean system reinstall." It had to be done eventually. Now's the time. Just wish I didn't have to do years worth of tasks first. Fortunately I already burned most of the photo files to CD. There's still some music that needs rescuing. And a few more things. Several days of work left at least.

In the meantime, guess what snuck up on me while I wasn't looking? The date that my fair entries were due to be turned in for judging. Yesterday. Our county fair opens on Tuesday morning and runs all next week through the following weekend. I hadn't realized it was coming up on us so fast, until I noticed the painted windows announcing the fair in all the local store windows. Even so, I still felt pretty organized, even if I did wait until the last minute. And it's not like I waited until the last minute completely because of my natural procrastination skills. It's more like there wasn't any time available before the last minute, what with gallivanting all over the known universe and having family visiting.

I had three categories of entries due on Saturday. Quilts - I'd entered two, didn't finish either of them. Didn't even consider trying. What I was trying to finish was the second category of entries - photographs. I'd entered a lot of different photographs. Like the quilts, they weren't exactly finished. But all I needed to do was print them out, frame them, label them, and they'd ready to go. Uhm, yeah.

I wasn't going to kill myself trying to do them all, just a few of my favorite that I had intended to blow up to 8 X 10 anyway. I went out Friday morning and bought $50 worth of new printer ink, photo paper, and some screws and wire for hanging the frames (a new fair requirement). Came home and settled in to work.

Several hours later, I gave up. The printer was determined to start the photographs a third of the way into the images. Despite the new ink catridges, the images weren't coming out well. How much expensive photo paper did I want to waste before admitting defeat? Even though I was still an hour or so away from doing any serious screaming or throwing of heaving objects, I decided to give up. Apparently it wasn't meant to be this year.

The last category I had entered was one called "collections" where you display, duh, a collection. At this point I was feeling so frustrated with the situation I decided not to enter that either because on top of my entry issues, I also had issues with the fair itself.

For years, ten if anyone's counting, I've been one of the main volunteers that puts together the main exhibit hall for our county fair. At one point, many years ago, I was offered the job officially, but I turned it down. Our fair, as much as I love it, is fraught with small town politics, oversized egos, and we've-always-dunnit-this-way traditions and anyone involved in an official capacity seemed to be simply putting themselves up on the target board like one of those sitting ducks in the midway carnival. I didn't want to be involved in all that, so I stayed unofficial and happily involved through dozens of changes of fair managers, building managers, fair board members, and so on.

Until last year. Last year there were so many changes made that there wasn't anyone left that really knew who the old workhorses were and a number of us were completely left out of the loop. Thanks for the offer to help. Don't call us, we'll call you. And when I finally went down to the building at the last minute to find out why we hadn't been called, I was met with a bunch of stressed, completely confused newcomers who demanded to know why we hadn't shown up to help!

I thought about calling up this year to see what was going on with the building, it wouldn't be a big surprise if the reins had been passed to someone else completely again. But last year left a really bad taste in my mouth. So I decided that perhaps it was time to move on and do something else. All good things must end and all that crap. Sigh. I think I made the right decision, but it's still bumming me out.

On a positive note, I can still enter all my floral and agricultural entries. They're not due until Tuesday morning. And if I wanted, there are other buildings to help in. Not this year. But the fine arts building and the floral/ag building have been run by the same organizations for decades. And either of them would jump at the chance to have me join and help. In fact the floral ladies try to drag me into the fold on a regular basis.

So, maybe. Or maybe I'll just put my energies back into the local quilt group, which is tattered and in need of rejuvenation right now. That's another group that's been full of infighting and sniping lately - I've been staying clear of it for about a year. Not hard to do when I haven't been home much anyway. We (I say we, although I didn't have much to do with it) put on a kick ass first quilt show last year. Maybe I'll spearhead the plans for next years show. Maybe. Or maybe not. I'm thinking of taking the Master Gardener and/or Master Quilters certification classes with our state county extension offices and then joining the circuit of fair judging. I've always wanted to do that, maybe it's time.

Enough about the fair. So let's see - computer, fair.....

Sam was here for the weekend. That was nice. But exhausting. Whodathunk I'd be as tuckered out having one adult son home as I was having three teensy grandchildren last weekend? You see, add another "kid" into the mixture and what I end up with is THREE crazy men. Sam and William chasing each other through the house with the air soft pellet guns. And no, they are NOT soft. Me yelling, yes, total cliche coming - "STOP IT BEFORE SOMEONE LOSES AN EYE!" Hubby gets all too silly as well. Testosterone splashing about all over the place. Sigh. MEN.

But on the positive side - I do enjoy spending time with my kids. Sam's a good guy. And a bonus, I got him to go through two boxes of old mementos he had stored in the garage, plus take home his table saw and a few other tools, which means I have a BIG OPEN SPACE in my garage from which to make further inroads into the mess. HURRAY!!!!!! Also, Sam barbequed for us last night. YUM. And while he was barbequeing in the back yard, I kept him company by attacking the weeds in the gardens. I got a lot of weeds pulled.

When I came back after being gone all spring, the back gardens looked lush and green. Jeff had been watering them for me. Wasn't that sweet. Only problem, there wasn't anything much planted out there, I hadn't had time before I left. After this third major weed pulling, 90% of the lush and green is gone. It was almost completely weeds. I left a few volunteer sunflowers, leeks, and morning glories, plus some permanent herbs. But I'm okay with that. It's time to add a bunch of topsoil and start over again anyway.

In fact, I think that's what I'll do today. Head off to the garden department at Walmart and get a bunch of bags of topsoil to top off the wine barrels. Buy a bunch of herb and flower plants. By the time the afternoon heat starts to fade, I can spent the evening transforming the gardens into something restful and beautiful. Or, remember the quote I started out with - at least that's the plan. I'll let you know what really happens.


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