My life is…completely unremarkable. Except for the extreme blunders I make. Blunders that make people wonder if I’ve had a stroke or am suffering some kind of psychosis.
I made one of those colossal blunders this week and I’ve been feeling badly about it for days. It’s times like this I want to run away and hide. Out of shame, out of embarrassment, or just to protect myself from committing more blunders. I need a hiding place. A private place.
This cottage and piece of property have been all but completely forgotten. As far as I know it isn’t for sale, but from the looks of the upkeep the owners are there very seldom if ever at all. It would be the perfect hiding place for me.
My blogging has been suffering lately, along with my self-respect regarding the most recent blunder. The little cottage with the yellow door and shutters would be a wonderful place to think, reflect, and write. In fact, this piece of property was pointed out to me as what could be my “perfect blogging retreat.” I can’t disagree.
Take a closer look at the front window. The reflection in the front window would be my view as I look up from my writing or my woes. A beautiful lake and pristine forest surrounding it.
We all know one can’t run away from problems or blunders. My problems won’t disappear even if I do, and blunders can’t be undone. But how much easier would it be to erase those things from my mind, even if for a day or two, if I could escape to The Blogging Retreat?
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What a different life I have now that I don’t go to the day job every day. Different, as in better! I’ve noticed it the most when I’m getting ready to take my wares on the road to craft shows and festivals.
A lot of work goes into making actual products, as any artisan knows. Then there’s packaging the products. I spend a huge amount of time getting my candles and drink charms retail ready ~ creating labels, protecting them with shrink wrap (candles) and bags plus hang tags (charms) and putting price tags on each and every item. After all of the products are made and packaged they have to be displayed within a 10′ X 10′ space as efficiently and pleasingly as possible. That requires props, tables and shelving. When it comes time to actually head out to an event the products and displays have to be accounted for in addition to the canopy under which everything is placed. The canopy requires assembly at every show and won’t be complete without stakes and weights. So many things to consider and organize…and fit into a standard SUV for transport.
Husby and I have it down. As my roadie he makes sure all of the displays and canopy are packed, as well as a huge toolbox containing everything (and then some) we’ll need for the structure. I’m responsible for packing all of the products as efficiently as I can.
Gathering my products, props and shelving.
If I’m lucky, the only thing I have to do at the last minute is pack up my scented candles. I don’t like to keep them tubbed up for too long for fear the fragrances will bleed together. I’m paranoid that way.
The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.
With all it takes not only to create these products but to also take them on the road I’ve never been more grateful for the fact that I don’t have to squeeze it all into little snippets of time like I did when I had a day job.
This weekend I’ll be at the Baker Orchard Art Festival in Centuria, Wisconsin. It’s just a short and beautiful drive from Minneapolis/Saint Paul and will surely get you excited about the autumn time of year in the midwest. Plus, I’ll be relaxed as ever as the day job is gone.
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The days are getting cooler and (thank God) less humid. Autumn is just around the corner. Woo hoo! Autumn in Minnesota is the best.
In honor of autumn I present to you its gateway, the Minnesota State Fair…
My BFF MaryAnn, eating her ever beloved Pickle-on-a-Stick
Me at the fair, casting a shadow that looks like a Who from Whoville
Alpacas, lounging around and taking in the admiration of fair goers. Some day I’ll have an alpaca for a pet. I love them!
The giant Paul Bunyan, clothed completely in recycled clothes and fabric. He teaches us to recycle and reuse.
A stunning painting created by my friend, Mark Caselius, on display in the Fine Arts Building at the State Fair. Of course he won a prize!
The Mighty Midway at dusk
Once again the fair didn’t disappoint. The smell of hot oil, the squeals of kids on their first thrill ride, and food on a stick galore. I’m always a little sad when the fair ends, but I know it will be back again next year, barring war (as happened in 1861, 1862, 1945), conflict of major events (1893-damn you World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago! ) and/or epidemic disease (polio, 1946).
I’ll be back next year with bells on to enjoy the one thing thousands of people at the fair have in common, Minnesota. We love our state and our people are great. We know how to have a good time, how to eat good food, how to learn from experts, how to watch baby animals being born, and how to fly high and fast on the midway.
Long live L’Etoile du Nord! And happy autumn!
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