primsong: (starry sky)
My eldest came by to pick up her official papers we keep in our safe because she needs to expedite her passport renewal all of the sudden - she's going to Cambodia on a missions trip in June!

She's always had a heart for the people of Asia so she's excited at the opportunity. Says "I've been studying their history and language, it has a lot of the same sounds that Japanese uses so I'm picking it up." Now I get to be the gathering point for whatever monetary support she can wrangle on short notice to cover the passport, shots, plane ticket etc. She needs 3k, we'll see how it goes.

Life is never boring, is it?
primsong: (squirrel)
We're off to a slam-bang starter for this year as hubby is on the road to his new job down south in a car full of clothing and whatnot and I'm trying to find my way out of all the holiday things to put away/throw out/use up.  Daughter moved into a rented room on the coast at the same time so she is no longer hotel hopping. 

I was crazy-busy overseeing our church Watch Night while they were scrambling and launching from home, managed to get through our annual overnight prayer & worship event complete with breakfast at sunrise and staggered home to a house now only inhabited by Son, cat and parakeets. 

Ran out of time to find a new car before he had to go, so he's going to just look for one down there and drive it up when he finds it rather than risk a mechanical lemon as he's the one who knows what he's looking at under the hood.  Pbbbblt!
primsong: (four mirror)
One problem with my upcoming dance class at the church is we have no mirrors in our hall, and anyone who has learned any kind of dance will understand the value of mirrors!  I'd been hunting around and found those full-length type mirrors you hang on a closet door were my best bet, but even those often ran $20 and up each - some were over $40.  BUT - God is good.  Went to K-mart today (of all places...I never go to K-mart...) and found they not only had those $20 mirrors, they were on sale - and then there was an additional discount this weekend on top of it.

I got SIXTEEN mirrors - blitzed their supply - for only $5.99 each!  *balloons and confetti*  I have moveable dividers I can hang four mirrors each on so I am SET!  ^_^  I am so relieved! 
primsong: (starry sky)
Can't believe October is already coming to a close, I'm scrambling to get my costume and decor ready for this year's Trunk or Treat where we decorate our cars and hand out candy from the trunks in the church parking lot.  Last year we got a downpour that drove everyone inside, I'm hoping it will be drier this time around.  We usually get about 180 kids.

I'm using my silver dance wings and doing up an angel costume, complete with white wig and fluffy halo on a headband.  Sparkly blanket in the back of the car with twinkle lights and such should work, figure that way if it rains on us again its something relatively easy to transfer to a table inside and still have a theme. I did this once before a while back, the preschoolers eyes about pop out of their head when I slowly open the wings.  :-D
primsong: (odds fish)
Back in the 50s my church apparently went through a legalistic phase, the 'no smoking, no dancing, no makeup' kind of thing and of all of that only a lingering whiff of 'no dancing' was left by the time we came around to it.   For the past 20 years every time dancing came around (even the chicken dance at a party) there were always a few older people who had that 'I feel like I should feel guilty for dancing, but I don't, but what if there's an even OLDER person here who still thinks it is wrong?' reaction. 

Well, we have officially jumped the shark on that topic now - with the approval of my teaching bellydance to the ladies this coming January.  Talk about casting aside the old garment with flair!  Haha!  It's on a freewill donation basis to fund-raise for building updates, I'm quite curious to see how many actually sign up.  :-D  I'm actually quite astonished that they let it go through.

Hm - while watering plants outside this morning something stung my foot and now my little toe looks like a sausage... little toes are strange enough as it is, hopefully won't last long.
primsong: (bible boogie)
We were trying to think of ways to raise a little money to remodel the ladies room at the church, so I put in a proposal to teach bellydance to them in exchange for "tuition" of their choosing.  I have all the handouts and things I would need for a nine-week course and the know-how for beginners so I figured "why not?".

Got the informal initial reaction from the committee meeting today - i.e. "I wish you could have seen the look on their faces when the word "bellydance" came out of my mouth!"  Haha!  As usual, I had written the proposal with the understanding that the first thing they'd think of would be I Dream of Jeannie in her pink chiffon and gold rickrack costume.  Sure enough!  X-D

The big surprise to me was that after talking about it, they were apparently sufficiently intrigued that it wasn't dismissed, so now it goes to Round Two for approval with leadership.  Good heavens, I'm thinking, I could actually end up doing this yet - maybe I should start giving thought to how in the world to get some kind of mirrors in the fellowship hall!
primsong: (hamster smooch)
Time for the Washington County Fair once again, which in my case means working my tail off at the beverage booths there, it's one of our main fundraisers for our preschool - last year it was SO HOT and the lady who sells those little neck things full of water beads so you can soak them in water and tie them around your neck was doing hopping business - I still have mine from last year but I expect she'll be doing well again.  Supposed to be around 90, bleah...!  I'm sure we'll be selling a lot of water.   Took my feet forever to recover after last year so I didn't sign up for quite as much this round - trick is to not give in when the inevitable "but we NEED you" comes by, will see how I do, I'm a softie.

Hope I get either the food court (it has shade!) or the barn one (it has nice farm people and animals!). 
primsong: (sign waffles)
Was working at the church and noticed a steady sprinkle of people coming through our parking lot and moseying around the front, asked one girl lounging on her bicycle if we were a Pokemon-Go stop - "Yep!" she said happily tapping at her phone. 

One person came up and took a photo of our stained glass for their Instagram.  Two guys came by walking a dog and stopped for a bit to tap at their phones.  Various people hanging out in their cars trying to look casual about it.  Heh.
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
The church parking lot sale I'm organizing is this Saturday, so I'm slowly migrating my massive mound of whatnot to the church building as I come and go, mostly squirreling it into my library so it isn't too visible beforehand.  Looks like I'll have maybe 7 people selling which isn't as many as I hoped for but at least I'm not out there by myself.

Just have to do the craigslist ads and finish up the signs... I taped old christmas tinsel to them so they sparkle in the sun to catch people's eyes, maybe I'll toss in some cheap happy face balloons as well to add some motion and color.  It's a bit of work, but it will be SO nice to have it done!    Also if we do end up moving because of the whole jobs thing I've gotten to do the first round of junk-removal with good weather.
primsong: (dalek tipping)
About a year ago a friend and I stood looking at our battered and outdated Fellowship Hall at our church, which serves as everything from a cafeteria and craft area to a gym for the preschool. Decades of constant use really showed and we both utterly loathed the old valances of ruffled pink, country blue and teal that shrieked late 80s. That launched my efforts last Fall of a fundraising Tea, a gathering of donations and a lot of hours in group decisions on paint, etc.

Spent the last three days in there, yanking out the old curtains and the yards and yards of muslin underneath, filling holes, sanding and priming. Found stuff behind the cabinets from years ago and spackled countless staple holes... We're about a third of the way through this project but by Maundy Thursday this week we hope to have a new look to our old Hall at long last.

It's an awful lot of work and my feet and legs are killing me, but it's a great feeling to get it done!
primsong: (bald planet)
I find a vast amount of the things I am involved in have my faith and/or my church and its various activities, needs and ongoing whatnot as a part of them - goodness knows there's always something to do, especially in a smaller one where everyone has to wear more than one hat.  Since my earliest "church days" as a teen, I've been drawn to take care of the building, furnishings and bulletin boards, etc. - i.e. one of my first actions as a new Christian was to take the welcome mats home and scrub them, hee hee....  I still update bulletin boards, polish the wood in the sanctuary, make sure the kids have scribbling paper so they don't scribble in the hymnals, pressure-wash the moss off the sidewalk and paint the lines on the parking lot, for instance.  And I love it.

Out of curiosity, for those of you who have a church or other group that meets on a regular basis, what 'slot' of duties do you find yourself falling into the most naturally?  What jazzes you that you get to be a part of it?
primsong: (bladda dog)
Well, we did it - two teas on two consecutive weekends with almost no help, 42 at the first one (mostly kids) and a paltry 19 at the adult's tea.  Problem is I had the kid one slightly cheaper than actual cost because I kept being told that it couldn't be "too expensive for families with children"... I counted on the adult's one counterbalancing that and then when so few showed up it tipped the proverbial apple cart.   Worked hard, got rave reviews, but only pulled in less than $200 after all expenses were accounted for.  :-p   Ironically overheard people saying "Wow, if I'd know it was going to be this good, I would have invited X, Y and Z!"

It was supposed to raise money to replace curtains and blinds - didn't even make enough for one set of blinds much less eight.  Kind of discouraging, but at the same time it was rather fun to do - I would do it again someday IF (and ONLY if)  I had a confirmed team to help me and enough people buying tickets ahead of time with the option to close shop if there's too few.  Lessons learned!
primsong: (lunch)
Just an update on an event, so I can look back on it later I guess.

Still working on the two Afternoon Tea events I'm organizing for later this month, I've managed to accumulate about 30 cup and saucer sets from assorted garage sales and thrift stores over the summer, some tiered racks for serving, lots of assorted china salad plates, etc. etc. - and 15 teapots thus far. My house looks like a china shop, minus the bull.

Ticket sales have been anemic, everyone is interested in coming and gets excited but when it comes to coughing up some dough to purchase tickets they're a bit more reluctant apparently. Nevertheless, I have 30 for the first one (the one with kids) and 14 for the nicer adult's tea which is better than nothing - though 44 is long way from my max. number of 128. We're making some scones this afternoon as you can make the dough and freeze them unbaked ahead of time.
primsong: (nom)
So... I was at Bible Study last evening. The windows in the room look out at the bend in the building where the two wings come together. I watched a crow fly up onto the roof there with what appeared to be half a burrito, a great find for a crow. It spent some time happily pulling bits off to eat, then stopped and looked around, considering what was left. As I watched, it carefully hefted it up, carried it to the edge of the roof and stuck it into the gutter, cawed a few times and flew off.

Apparently a roof gutter makes a great safe for a crow's treasure, as he came back shortly and reached in for a couple more bites, then flew off again. Didn't see it come back while we were there and then it got dark. Now I need to send a note to our handyman to let him know, lest the mystery of the mummified gutter burrito be too baffling to him in the fall.
primsong: (panda bounce)
Well, I got the ball rolling for our fundraising Tea in September with a nice menu at an $18 price, online ticket sales are set up and I put out a call for volunteers. What did I get? Lots of people who wanted to help? Nope - I got feedback that they wanted a reduced rate for families with children so it wouldn't be too expensive to bring their young daughters.
0_o

I just looked at them and kind of went dot....dot....dot.... "Um, you do realize this is a *fundraiser*? And this is a formal tea? For grown-ups?"

"Well, yes, I suppose, but, well, it just gets too expensive, you see, so we need a group discount or something."

I could see this was a battle I wasn't going to win - these ladies WOULD find *some* way to wheedle a lower price and they WOULD show up with all their little kids, I just knew it - there they'd be by some unhappy granny, around hot tea and breakable china and "weird" foods kids won't eat.

SO - ! I added a kid's tea, I'm calling it a "Family Tea" on the preceding Saturday with a much simplified menu, prefab desserts, herbal tea and lemonade for $10 each. I landed an energetic mom who runs a girl scout troop to do the promo for it and am now picking up melamine unbreakable tea cups from the thrift store. Whew. :-p

Still doing the nice one too, they'll be one week apart - got my work cut out for me! At least the people who come to the "real" tea won't be dealing with a toddler having a meltdown over the 'yucky' lemon curd or something.
primsong: (lunch)
We need some updates to the hall at our church, the window coverings absolutely scream 1980s with their dusty rose and country blue, so I proposed we have a tea to raise some money for new curtains. It got approved and the date is now set for September 26 - all of the sudden my little daydream about serving a pretty tea is a reality and I've got to get my act together and figure this out so I can assemble and direct a team to do this.

I eyeballed the room and calculated we can seat 30 people in the nice dining area without it being too crowded for comfort, so if we do 2 seatings that'll let me sell up to 60 tickets. At $18 each, minus the cost of the food and tea we should still be pretty good. Time for a learning curve - so many recipes to look at, I'll need to narrow it. Sweets are easy, sandwich fillings are traditional, but does anyone have a favorite savory they've encountered?
primsong: (cookies)
Came out of my local grocery store to find one of the families from our church selling Girl Scout cookies with their daughters, who ran over to give me a hug.  My thought wasn't "Yay, friends!" but rather "Oh blast, now I'm obligated to buy a box of overpriced cookies."

Got the peanut-butter ones, a paltry number in the box for my 4 bucks but oh well... the girls were happy and now we have Unexpected Cookies to go with lunch today.

We have a Japanese exchange student with us for a couple days, so I guess peanut butter is a pretty American flavor to have in the house... she liked the pancakes we made for breakfast for the same reason (let's see... what would be expected at an American house in the morning?) - so far so good. Hope everyone is having a good weekend!
primsong: (cookies)
It's definitely "that season" again - coming from a Christmas party that had rockin' gingerbread cake with spiced whipped topping and cream-cheese-and-nutmeg stuffed dates to holiday events with everything from brandy beans to peppermint cookies going by it's hard to know what comes next.

We have our church Christmas event this coming Sunday, so I'm busy making marshmallow popcorn balls and green tree-shaped spritz for that, at the rate we're going I may not even need to make any Christmas cookies this time around as we'll already be full up on enough goodies to cause us to all roll out the door like that girl that turned into a blueberry in the Willy Wonka thing... but y'know... there's still those soft sugar cookies with lemon in them... and the peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate....and that amazing fruitcake with all the wine in it....

What are you making this year? Any extra good things orbiting past you?
primsong: (odds fish)
I am apparently only recognizable by my hair.  I was at the church processing some books for the library and stopped in at a meeting to enjoy the music for a few minutes.  Three people there admitted after I came up and spoke with them that they "wondered who that new lady was in the hat, then realized it was you!" 

"Um, yes. Me, you know, the lady in a hat because she has no hair."  Argh!  I've known them for over a decade too.  This is so weird.

I'm getting ready for Sunday service this morning and almost don't want to go just to avoid all the commentary.  It's going to be hot and I don't want the scratchy wig but a cotton wrap just makes it more obvious. Wahhhh. My ego apparently whines as it is squished.
primsong: (lunch)
Phoo! I'm tired, must be time for bed.  Tomorrow is our big church picnic for Easter and I'm up to my ears in fixings for a huge green salad, glorified rice and two big pans of peach cobbler. Yay!  Plus I'll be doing the face-painting on the side. Makes for a busy but good event. I just have to finish one salad and I can hit the hay.

I'm attending two churches, my main one and the one that rents space in the main one, so I get to help with two Easter picnics, one this weekend and one next weekend, complete with two rounds of face-painting and two rounds of kiddie egg-hunts, probably going to walk my feet off but it's always such a cheery time with visitors that only come out of the woodwork for major holidays as well.  Thankfully, it looks like a clear day, it's been pretty rainy here, so we may be blowing in the breeze but at least we'll be dry.

Have a lovely Palm Sunday weekend, all!

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