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Archive for June, 2012

The following post was written in my previous blog.  I’m showing a rerun here because these are indeed hot summer days.

These are the hot summer days.

It doesn’t seem so long ago when summertime meant no homework, no responsibilities, and lots and lots of playing.  My fair face would turn beet red with my vigorous play and my wispy white hair would curl into sweaty little ringlets.  Summertime also meant frequent trips to Tug Lake in Wisconsin, home to Gram and Grampa.

It would be the end of the day, the sun in the western sky.  Charlotte would still be swimming in Tug Lake like a minnow and Diggy was just a little toddler being passed around to the next adoring adult.  I would always get cold and pruney from swimming too long so I would sit with the adults in the yard on the sticky, aqua blue, padded vinyl lawn furniture and drink a Fresca out of the bottle ~ that was back in the day when Fresca had real fruit peel bits floating in it.  Then I would ask my grandma if I could listen to the stereo.

Being the doting grandma she was we’d go inside and she’d fire up the fancy console with my favorite record.  She’d then return to the lakeside gathering outside, leaving me to what would turn into one of the most nostalgic memories of my life.

The sun reflected off the waves of the lake through the large windows of the house, throwing shimmering sparkles of light through the whole room.  The indoor air felt warm to my lake-chilled body.  I was probably eight or nine years old.  I felt independent all alone away from the family, and yet I was embraced in a comfortable and safe environment.  My choice of music every time was none other than Steve and Eydie, Real True Lovin’.

When I was a young teenager I would reminisce with Gram about those days when she would play the fancy stereo for me.  I asked her with the most innocent of intentions, “when you die can I have your Steve and Eydie record?”

One day when I was well into my thirties Gram gave me the record.  “Here you go, honey.  You don’t have to wait until I die to have this.”  She remembered, before she would inevitably be unable to.

When I sit in my rumpus room during warm summer evenings I see the flickering shadows of the trees cast along the floor and walls by the setting sun and am reminded of Tug Lake and the sparkly diamond waters of my childhood.

I still feel like that little girl when I hear this song, sometimes sadly longing for the carefreeness of childhood.  Mostly I’m reminded that it was those carefree days, my fun and accommodating grandma, and Steve and Eydie at sunset that contributed to the person I am today.  For all those things I’m grateful.

What memories does summertime bring to you?

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I’ve been away from the computer for a while. What? You didn’t notice? Well I missed you and that’s enough.

Husby and I took a little jaunt to the ever-lovely Door County, Wisconsin. I had a show in Ellison Bay (Olde Ellison Bay Days Craft Fair) where we spent a couple of days meeting and greeting customers and fellow vendors. The weather was perfect.

We spent another few days lolling about the peninsula. Husby and I have an affinity for large bodies of water and we have become quite attached to Lake Michigan ~ the Door County peninsula to be precise.

I’ll be posting a little more about our trip, but for now I’m offering a little entertainment. Whenever I’m by the lake this song invariably sneaks into my mind and sticks there for a while. I love it, and although I wasn’t on an island per se, watching the water with this song playing through my head is quite an experience. I hope you enjoy it no matter where you are.

**Caution, Charlotte. It’s “that” song.**

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This just in: Former Catholic Girl of the Year celebrates a milestone birthday today.  She’s asked that we don’t divulge her age ~ it is said she’s beyond child-bearing but has the body of a teenager (according to Bob). 

When asked how she would celebrate she replied “I don’t want a big deal – just family.”  We aren’t sure if that implies her family has become a small deal for her, but they are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize the anniversary of this very special person’s birth.

On the menu for this very special celebration includes fennel-pollen rabbit sausage and squid ink pasta.  I’m not even kidding you.

The guest of honor will accept genuflections at the celebratory event and will no doubt share the secret to her longevity.  It is suspected she’ll mention eating foods like squid ink pasta along with showing subversive disrespect to her elders.

Congratulations, Mrs. Lady!

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Go Coke!

By the time I post this everyone in the entire universe has probably seen it.  But I don’t care ~ it deserves another gander.  Remember the good that’s out there in the world.  Remember to be kind to others.  Leave it to Coke, my sugar pop of choice, to restore my faith in humanity.  Yay Coke, and yay all you do-gooders and lovers of life.

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A Day Without Dads

Husby’s feeling a little melancholy today with it being the first Father’s Day since his dad died.  I can’t blame him for that.  And my dad?  Well he told me to just stay away from him on Father’s Day.  Begged me, actually.

This isn’t really a commentary on what a rotten daughter I’ve been, although I have presented challenges to both my parents through the years.

As you may know by now, my family has a little piece of heaven in central Wisconsin where we like to spend time away from our real lives.  There’s a lot of fishing, swimming, reading on the porch, leisurely boat rides around the lake, hiking along the gravel road, and campfires at night.  This year my dad (and the rest of the family, sans me) is relaxing in the northwoods on Father’s Day.  He and my mom have been there for over a week and Charlotte and her family have been there since last Tuesday.  I’ve been here with the daily grind of the day job with no sounds of a loon within earshot.

I had plans to drive to the cottage to spend Father’s Day with my dad.  No, I couldn’t spend a whole week there, but I’d make it for the weekend.  Some of it at least.  That was my plan, until my dad called me a couple of days before he and my mom were going to leave for their ten-day stay.  That’s when he begged me to stay home.

Here’s the deal.  He knew I was doing a two-day craft show the weekend prior to Father’s Day weekend.  He also knew I was doing a two-day craft show plus extended four-day vacation time the weekend after Father’s Day.  And on the weekend of Father’s Day we had to close the deal on the sale of Husby’s parents’ house.  That would leave me approximately twenty-four hours and four hundred miles of travel time to spend time with my dad on Father’s Day.  Like I said, I was planning on it, because my dad is worth it.

But when he called and pleaded with me to stay home, saying it was silly for me to travel all that way to spend so little time, all of that gas money, and with all the work I had to do with the shows and the house closing…

So like the Bible says, I honored my father and stayed home this weekend.  But that just shows how great my dad is ~ he puts his kids ahead of himself, even when his kids are of a ripe old age like I am.  Even though I’m not spending the day with my Dad his quirkiness influence is not forgotten this Father’s Day.

Here’s to great dads all over the world!  May they shun you out of love as my dad did me.

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One of the best things about doing the same craft show every year is seeing repeat customers.  Even those who visit every year but don’t buy anything become familiar and are worthy of a Hello!  Good to see you again! 

Robert and his friend have been repeat visitors and buyers at my booth at the Chateau St. Croix festivals (spring show and fall show) for several years.  They love my candles and bought some every time they stop by.  A couple of shows ago Robert said he was looking for a chocolate candle like the one he bought the previous year.  He ranted and raved about how it made his bathroom smell like a candy store.  I was sorry to tell him I stopped making chocolate-scented candles.  People loved the scent, but would usually just comment instead of buy.  “Ooh, that smells wonderful!  But if I burn it I’ll just get hungry.”  Robert was sad to hear of the discontinuation and settled for another fragrance.

During the down season, between January and May, I received a small complimentary sample of fragrance oil with an order I placed with my supplier.  The fragrance?  Fudge Brownie.

Of course I thought about Robert right away.  The sample bottle of fragrance oil was enough to scent only two candles.  I decided I’d make them up and when I returned to The Chateau I’d keep them behind the display and pull them out as a surprise for Robert.

Fall, 2011 ~ no Robert.

Spring, 2012 ~ no Robert.

Where are you Robert?  I have the candles of your dreams!

With the disappearance of Robert I have to grapple with the decision of whether or not to try to sell these two chocolate-scented candles at my upcoming shows. What do you think? Hang onto the candles until the Fall Festival at the Chateau St. Croix with the hope that Robert not only shows up but actually buys the candles? Or take them along with me to the Olde Ellison Bay Days show next week with hopes to entice another chocolate candle lover?

What would you do?

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