Friday, September 28, 2007

When Things Don't Work

I've been off line for a few days. Some would call it technical difficulties. First we thought our connection issues were caused by static on the line so we replaced connections. Then, we thought the issue was too much information flowing through our DSL line into our home over too great a distance so my husband changed our service to the more narrow band width. After being convinced that our connection troubles were modem related, we bought a new one which also didn't work so my husband finally called Verizon to complain that we hadn't been able to connect during the last week. The lady at customer service had him go to web sites that only "techies" know about to reinstall a password that apparently erased itself. Now, we're back on but only my computer because we have wireless issues to solve. Isn't technology wonderful when it works. And doesn't it cause a great deal of stress when it isn't working. Take our case in point.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finding Balance

It's something I struggle with every year at this time. We've just come through a long hot dry summer with revenue from events being similar to a world class roller coaster. Even the activity at my web site was "sitting in the shade relaxing". But, when the foliage begins to turn, so does the emphasis and earnestness, if you will, on my patrons. It's like someone threw a switch and now, they can see a need to purchase for their favorite brother in Colorado or daughter whose gone off to college. Whether it's a Christmas gift or for some other special occasion, it doesn't matter. What it does mean is now, when I want to get out and enjoy Mother Nature's final and fantastic collage of color, I get busy. I've seen it happen every year and no matter how I approach this time of year, with whatever meticulous amount of planning, I always get caught short. In fact, just last night I had a call from a lady who visited my exhibit in Dublin this past weekend. She was kicking herself because she hadn't made a purchase and was now calling to order my "Dream" collage, a four seasons collection of images of the Old Man Of The Mountains. I told her I would be happy to fill her order just as soon as I became restocked with that type of mat. I knew it was going to happen. I could see it coming and I still let myself get too low on stock. This goes for the paper that I use, the foam core to back the images and even my frames are at an all time low. More on this subject later. The lady was all smiles and will happily wait for her new photograph. I will survive this sudden rush as I have done other years, but, wouldn't it be nice if I could figure out a way to balance everything out and be able to enjoy this year's fall extravaganza. It should be brilliant!

Monday, September 10, 2007


When I was a child, our family took camping vacations. It was a fun time for all of us. The necessary closeness that a family derives from all sleeping in the same "room" can develop bonds that last a lifetime and nurture feelings for the outdoors that you'll want to pass on to your children when the time comes. It's also a relatively inexpensive way to get that vacation for the parents. Nowadays, things have changed somewhat. Kids take off on bikes, seclude themselves beneath a tree to play video games and sometimes will have their own curtained area in their RV. The rates have gone up considerably for a night in a campground, as well. There are, of course, lots more amenities such as hot tubs, Wi-Fi, game rooms and water and electric included at each campsite. During the Meredith show, we stayed at Twin Tamarack on Rte 106 in New Hampton. It was a great family oriented place that was having a Halloween Party for the horde of children in "residence". A strictly enforced speed limit and noise curfew added to the family atmosphere. The place was clean, well kept and relatively inexpensive at $32.00 per night. We will be planning to stay there next year. On the other side of the coin would be Seven Maples in Hancock. This quiet out of the way place was also reasonably priced at $30.00 per night but the facilities have seen better days and the pool had already been closed. Our campsite smelled of dog manure and when it rained ( boy, did it rain ) our entire site became a small lake which drowned our cache of firewood and ruined my chance for a romantic evening beside a quickly snapping fire. Now, the owners aren't responsible for the rain but their lack of grading and upkeep certainly are to blame for my not having a fire that evening and even though the staff, in the office, were pleasantly outgoing and helpful in getting us directions, we most likely will not stay there next year. And, completely in the other direction, we have the event coordinators at Quechee Gorge Village who allow anyone with a camper to stay in their overflow parking area at no charge, with no hook ups and no amenities. There's a lot to be said for free.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Change Of Seasons

Sometimes, while sitting for hours at an event, there’s nothing to do while other times, things happen with surprising rapidity. Take this weekend at Quechee, VT. It was the middle day of a three day event and it was really hot. The vendor next to us called out to me and asked if I had my camera handy because there was something in the tree across the parking lot. It was a Peregrine Falcon perched high in a Pine Tree overhead. That was fun. Later, a lady walked by and I heard that same neighbor call out to grab my camera. There, in front of my exhibit area was a little girl, no more than three years old, trying to walk with two of the largest baskets I’d ever seen. I just couldn’t resist! That night, the temperature changed from summertime to autumn and dropped to 37 degrees. And, as luck would have it, the heater wouldn't work in the camper.