Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Working Vacation

We just got back home from the Craftsmen's Fair in Gatlinburg, TN. We set up our booth in an air-conditioned convention center and then "went to work" for ten days at the Fair. We stayed within walking distance so for 10 days our world consisted of that little part of town. After spending 10 days in one spot waiting for customers to come by, I know that I could NEVER run a store. Maybe it would be different if, when no customers are present, I could disappear into my studio and create.........

One nice thing about doing a show like this is that all the cares and worries of home are left behind. Nothing existed outside the show and that was a welcome relief. We arrived back home expecting to see nice new ceilings in the house, the result of repairs necessitated by the storm damage. We found nice new ceilings. We also found a nice mess. We had talked about replacing the carpet. The contractor has seen to it that we now have no choice in the matter - the carpet will have to be replaced. Needless to say, Terrie is not overjoyed at the thought of continued upheaval. She was looking forward to finally getting back to normal around the house and now that won't happen for a while yet.

We met some wonderful artists in Gatlinburg. Talent was abundant at this show. It is truly amazing to see the talent and skills of people. Imported crap might cost less, but it lacks the craftsmanship, pride, and love of creation that is found in hand-created items. I heard it put this way - The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.

Hummingbird fact for today: White hummingbirds are rare in North America but some albino hummers are occasionally seen. Full albinos have white skin, bill, and feathers and red eyes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's Independence Day in America

One thing recently got my blood boiling. It was hearing people in this country refer to Independence Day as the fourth of July. It was the fourth of July in every other country in the world as well. Here in America, the fourth of July is Independence Day. Spend a moment thinking about the significance of that. And next year, please don't refer to the fourth of July without saying Independence Day.

This time of year we hear a lot of people talk about their hummingbirds "disappearing" from the feeders. Actually, this is the time of year that the females' diet changes. She has chicks in the nest and she feeds them tiny insects. When the juveniles are ready to leave the nest, she'll bring them to the feeders. Be patient - they will be visible again soon.

We're preparing for our big trip to Gatlinburg. We will be at the Craftsmen's Fair from July 18-27 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. This trip will also have some personal benefits. My mother and siblings live in Maryville, which is close to Gatlinburg. So while visiting family we also get to try a new market. We're hoping for a great show, of course.

Terrie is packing away everything in 3 rooms so the contractor can replace the damaged ceilings while we are gone. It's rather bare around here without all the hummingbird "stuff" she has collected over the years.

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummingbird survival skills must be learned by the juveniles on their own, including flying, searching for food, avoiding predators, bathing, and grooming.