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: (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: 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: (starry sky)
Just finished another round of our annual preschool fundraising dinner and basket raffle - as we were setting up the tables one of the grade school girls, the sort who has several small siblings and as a result speaks more like a wise mom than a kid, made the observation that "Oh yes, now all the little girls will come in and get their heart set on something in baskets, and then when they don't win they'll cry and cry." 

Watched as families mobbed the hallways, enthusiastically dropping tickets into the little buckets.  Plenty of little girls (and boys) who obviously had already decided whatever was in their chosen basket was theirs - especially the three beta fish artistically floating along among themed items in three different places.  Winning tickets were drawn and the halls filled with the sound of wailing as small children were given the "Sometimes these things happen, that's just the way it works" lesson.  One girl whom I would have thought old enough to already know that stood and just sobbed - she'd apparently fastened onto one of the betas and even given him a name.  In her heart, he was already in a fishbowl in her room and now a stranger was taking 'her' pet away from her.  So many small childhood hopes dashed amid the celebration.

I divvied up the decorative balloons and handed them to the kids who seemed to need to have something that they'd 'won' in their hands the most.
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: (hamster smooch)
Working on tea stuff, I wanted some lavender in there somewhere and also wanted a pound cake to slice and serve, so I tried this Lavender Lemon Poundcake as the best of both worlds.  It was good enough I wanted to pass it along!

Added a little extra lavender, as I had some from my yard as well as what I got at the health food store, they had it there in bulk for people who make their own teas, ,then reduced the cholesterol a bit by using half margarine, half butter and only putting in half of the egg yolks...doubled the vanilla and dumped in a dribble of lavender syrup we had left from our lavender latte binge.  It's AMAZING - we snarfed the baby size loaf I'd made for us to sample it, the rest are cooling to go into the freezer for next week's tea.  We'll top it with glaze, lemon zest and sparkly purple sugar there. ^_^

Yay!

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: (tarzan)
Today is the last day of the Fair at last! Still selling water and soda bottles, seems like it's been a really loooong four days - made liberal use of my peppermint foot lotion these evenings. Temp is "only" in the 90s today, thank God, though my booth has more shade than some of the others so I've done fairly well.

I offer a free bandana-swishing and hat-dipping service to anyone who comes up to my tub of ice water, and throw cups of ice water on people on request. ^_^

There's a guy there who breeds and sells sugar-gliders and he let me hold one when he was going by, they all sleep in the pockets of his shirt and cargo pants, she was adorable, soft and so light - And he had an 8-week old baby in his shirt pocket he let me see, adorability overload!

Fair Time

Jul. 31st, 2015 09:34 am
primsong: (monkeys)
Working the Fair this weekend, and it's blinkin' HOT - just figures... we run the beverage booths as our main fundraiser for the church's preschool each year and it's quite a job.

Worked yesterday til 10:30pm, going out again shortly, sore feet, way too hot out there - I just kept dipping my hat straight into the ice water tubs and sticking it back on my head, letting the water and ice cubes drop over me, seemed to work pretty well. We're shorthanded so I'm having to work the booth right in the middle of the food court by myself, hardly time to sit down. Our guy driving the little truck that delivers more soda and fresh ice to the booths couldn't keep up either, I completely ran out of water bottles for quite some time - of course, it being 104 out there didn't help, and everyone just wanted to buy water instead of soda. Every time I dig around the tub of ice and ice-water for any that might have sunk to the bottom my entire arm goes numb.

I'm right across from a bright red food vendor's place that says "THE DOG HOUSE" painted across a giant wooden weiner-dog... some folks went by with the biggest corn-dogs I've ever seen in my life, maybe they came from there. Ha!

My 3 kids are working as table-washers, trying to keep the eating areas up to snuff, unfortunately they're the ONLY table-washers for the entire fair - they were moving pretty slow by the evening, oy, I could see them plodding by with their squirt bottles and rags from time to time.

Going a little earlier today as I had no chance to look around the fair yesterday, just straight to my booth until closing. I passed a tent with a reptile show in it on the way, bet the reptiles are loving this heat.

Stay cool, everyone!
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: (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!
primsong: (eagle)
I was working at the food cupboard at church and heard what I was sure was a parakeet chirp - so I tracked the sound into the preschool down on the same level and found a supply room where a birdcage was sitting with two 'keets in it.  They had no cover, an oversized dish for water and a cup chock-full of wild bird seed. 

Asked around, seems one of the guys in our church had rescued them from an unstable home situation - he seemed to think they'd be just fine down there but I know how cool that building gets on the lower level at night ("They come from Australia right? It gets cold there," he reasoned)... but I told him I wanted to take them to my house where they could be with other parakeets and he agreed.

SO - I have FIVE parakeets now, my three (Millie, Freckles and Rhubarb) plus these two - we're calling them Lemonhead and Sky Guy for the moment.  I outfitted their cage with toys, mirrors, budgie food, grit and a celery stalk, they chirped along with some upbeat music, all is well.  Guess I better buy more millet, I don't know how long we'll have them.
primsong: (squirrel)
I seem to be shifting gears somewhat, guess it's time to learn how to be older or something.  I have a few white hairs - this is still quite alien to me, that they've shown up amid my normally dark-blonde hair, very silver-white and kind of wavy so I guess by the time I completely run out of pigmentation I'll have this crazy poof of white.  I kind of like that, but it's still novel enough I stare at them when they are shed (Wait, that came from my head? But it's white!). 

Also shifting in responsibilities in church, having gone from young believer (pew sitter/consumer of activities) to middle (helps with activities/provides stuff) to middlin' older (in charge of some stuff / teaching / deciding).  Now I've just taken on a Deaconess position, which is kind of like an Elder-in-Training.  I'm used to watching this kind of person take care of stuff and coming alongside them when they needed extra help, now it's me.  I just hope I don't have too many rounds of "Boy, that person really needs someone to pray with them, why isn't anyone doing that? Oh wait, it's me!"  Heh. 

New seasons, new ways of Being in the World. So far so good.
primsong: (fivey silly)
So. I finally finished the church newsletter for February, spell checked, printed and spell checked again, tweaked borders, etc., converted to pdf, got it signed off and sent it out to the entire church and the mailing list ON TIME! Yay, go me!

I opened the pdf one last time to be sure all the pages were opening on the file I'd just sent out to all these people and what do I see?

Two ants carrying a banana.

They were a tiny picture, tucked right where they look like they're about to ram one of the headers with their fruity yellow burden. What the heck? Where did they come from? How in the world did I accidentally paste in two ants carrying a banana randomly marching across one of the pages?

I beat my head on my desk. My kids laughed and said to tell anyone who commented that it was an easter egg.

Sigh. *snert snert snert*. Sigh. *snert*
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
Well, that was fun.  Our little church just doesn't seem to "get it" when it comes to having a women's retreat, so often it seems more like a 'business meeting-meets-group therapy' event and in spite of our having a grand place at the beach we can go to each year, it seriously needs help. SO... My daughters and I are setting out to go to as many women's retreats put on by other churches as we can reasonably manage, considering cost and scheduling.  And size. I'm targeting big, huge churches where they won't even realize we're strangers, actually.

One down! We just had a great weekend at a retreat center out in the country, surrounded by 270+ friendly women who didn't have a clue we were undercover retreat-lurkers.  No one ever did figure it out, which I found amusing.  We took notes on what worked (personalized candy bar on my bed! Casual, continental breakfast in jammies!), and thoroughly enjoyed having a relaxing time where we were free to wander in and out as we liked, as no one there had any expectations regarding us at all and they would probably never see us again anyway.  And there was a heated pool and hot tub. And badminton.  And late night games of Bananagrams with too much junk food on tap. I could get used to this. 

Next one looks like it will be in early March, maybe, at a beach conference center.  Another friendly megachurch. Niiiice.

And the ladies at my church who have heard of this mission say "Oh yes! Take notes! We really need new ideas!" Gladly shall I make this Great Sacrifice of my Time, Hanging out at Fun Places.
primsong: (books)
I'm gradually working my way through a stack of history textbooks for my daughter's high school, trying to help them eke out another year or two of use and abuse by students before they fall apart, they're so expensive to replace and it's a private school so every penny counts.  Nice to have my somewhat obscure super-power of repairing books come in handy from time to time, though I can't do fancy stuff like complete rebinding or restitching, sadly - wish I had the tools for that, this is more like Book Glue, Tape and Contact Paper 101 with occasional bouts of scissor work and forcing books into rube goldberg contraptions I've positioned with fat rubber bands and bricks to keep them in their girdle until the glue dries their girlish figure back where it belongs.

*snip, tape, fold*

Nice thing is this counts toward my volunteer hours for this year.  What do you do for volunteer work?  Do you have schools or organizations that require some of you?
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
Time to use one of my generally hidden Super Powers - painting the parking lot!

Seeing we had some nice cloud cover this morning, I dumped my plans to garage sale and started in on painting the church parking lot while it was relatively cool. I re-do it every 2-3 years, running the striper is the best part. This was the icky part, the crawling along hand-painting lettering, little handicap dudes and speed bumps...got about 1/3 done before the sun burned its way out of the clouds and I was fragged out, which is pretty good.

Wish the paint weren't so expensive, but hey...it gets the job done. Entombs bugs and weeds well too. I love how it brightens everything up, having it all shiny and white like that, it makes it look like Somebody Cares.
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
...to try to catch up on some of my 'me' stuff at long last.  Like having occasional moments to see what my dear flist has been up to of late and maybe even post a little now and them myself, what a concept!

Shan't bore with long explanations of where I've been, suffice to say I was rather needed by Real World people in need at the same time my church also needed me to take on a batch of secretarial duties and school started again.  I shall dutifully queue up and pull a paper number from the "Take A Number" machine so I can join in that all too common human chorus of "Where The Heckity Ding Dong Did the Last Two Months Go?"  (fill in the number of months of your choice,, full orchestral backup optional).

Now in the (long) waiting game to see if one friend I am helping will qualify for disability, have completed the learning curve on the secretarial stuff (I Haz Publisher!) and am settling into the kid's schedules (mostly, kinda. My gal wants to be involved in *everything*, I swear...)

I miiiiissed yooooou,dear bloggy people! *flails air-hugs*

Anyone have a good recipe for any kind of hot drink involving pumpkin?

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