Saturday Did Not Go As Planned

I opened some emails on the Commonwheel Festival Computer and that got me off to the wrong start for working on my book.

There were things that did need immediate attention and I hadn’t sent out emails relating to the Festival meeting and a request by another festival organizer I needed input from the Festival Committee.

I made a list of things I need to attend to before leaving for the Young Living Convention and it seems overwhelming, but I need to put it in focus of doing one thing, then the next. And one piece actually relates to my Sustainable Festival, letters I need to write to the food vendors and artists about our Art Festival being a Waste-Wise Festival and how they must or can participate.

I also listened to one webinar that was really a sales pitch to a product way out of my financial scope at the moment. It did inspire me to get a web page up for the PhotoShop Instant Expert Training by Tony Laidig that I can resell. But not today.

My doorbell rang and a young man from Oklahoma asked if he could pay me to park in my driveway a couple of hours. They could not find parking and wanted to shop in some of the stores nearby. He pulled out a 5 dollar bill and said he would have to pay if he could find parking, so wanted to pay me. I said yes, and will use that for a food treat next week.

I decided I needed to work on Sharing Inner Health’s changes for her flyers and letterhead, so that would be done when she is back in town early next week. I got that to a point I need her to proof them again, but have paid off my visit last week and am ahead for if I need another one, or a Tune-Up in the future. This is the best type of trade for me, helping to keep my body healthier.

My upstairs tenant had more, but not all of her rent. She was shorted 20 hours on her pay check and they won’t correct that amount until the next pay day two weeks from now. Her mother can loan her the rest, but she lives way out East, so it will take a day or two for them to get together. I assured her it was fine, and as long as she communicated with me, we could work this out together. I opened a bottle of Young Living’s Peace & Calming and had her rub it on her wrists. She noticeably calmed down and we had a nice talk and she left feeling calmer and assured we were fine in this situation.

That encounter made me think of my Salida friend and how an essential oil had helped her. So I emailed my her to ask how she was doing and if she wanted to have a phone chat about essential oils. She does tomorrow.

I went next door to an art opening my roommates boyfriend was playing in a duo for the art patrons. The project manager for the Flood Mitigation in Manitou Springs was there and I had a very enlightening talk with him. He even drew me pictures – elevations of what he was talking about relating to what needs to be done for the Commonwheel building. He mentioned our landlord had permission to tear down the garages and the City really needs that done in order to get a grant to build a flood wall in the creek that will save all building owners along Lover’s Lane a lot of money. And the City will even pave the area when the rickety garages are gone. Not sure why he hasn’t done that and he didn’t return my phone call. Will try again tomorrow.

I was very good and did not eat or drink anything at the Art Opening, as this is the last day of a 3-day “fast” and I did not want to come off it with heavy or sweet foods. It was very tempting, but I behaved myself. May even keep up eating less and drinking the Lemonade drink for a few more days. But won’t totally stick to only that.

I brought an artist over to have a look at my garden and admire the Iris and Peonies. It did make her smile.

Glorious Iris & Poppies in My Garden

After that encounter, I took a few minutes to eat an avocado on the porch and read my comics. Then I took Big Louie, the cat, for a walk outside. Very slow mover, but I did look at a couple of things I needed to check on in the back yard.

When I came in, I shut down the Commonwheel computer and did some work on my Sustainable Event/Festival book. What is mostly left to do is the letters that will be in the resource area of a web site, not actually in the book. And a few other missing pieces. It has not photos right now, and may not. We will see how that goes. Tomorrow I really will focus on getting that to a point I could send it to a few people that might be willing to read it and do a quick “proof” to see how it reads. And the Title – What will its Title be? Still a mystery.

I was feeling very “stuck” before working on the book. I still am a little bit, but having made some progress and seeing how close it is to getting finished, I have a bit more motivation and momentum to keep me moving forward. May even ask Tony for one more of my training sessions just to talk about this, and my friend’s book that he needs to publish, but not be associated with and how to do that using HieroGraphics Books LLC publishing on Amazon. Which reminds me, I need to call and get some things sorted out there.

The garden was unwrapped by my roommate in the morning and looks so very glorious. No hail, thanks to the weather guardian angels. And it got a bit of gentle rain earlier today. I just can’t stop taking pictures of it.

Iris on an Old Fence

A Hike and Raindrop for My Body and Spirit

The day after the Commonwheel Art Festival jury, I worked on getting all the information sorted out and getting the checks copied and deposited in the bank. I walked to the Commonwheel and the copier was in pieces! That paper jam a couple of days ago must have been much worse than normal, so no wonder I couldn’t fix it. I decided to wait a day to deal with the checks, then realized I could photograph them and that would work just as well as a record as making copies.

My arm was still pretty sore and I had a call from my friend who does a class for Raindrop Technique using essential oils to confirm the time she needed me as the “demo body” and she had an opening the next day. She needs some work done on flyers and letterhead that need changing since she no longer owns the School of Inner Health to reflect her new business name and session fees. That made it easy for me to say yes to exchange some (healing) time for (computer) time.

I mentioned I had a chance to go on a hike in the morning before the session and was thinking of skimping that training that she invited me to, and she agreed the fresh air would do me as much good as a training. And she wanted to be the “demo body” for that training anyway.

So I started my Friday out with a massage and some Craniosacral work on my aching body. My knees and my arm all felt much better when she finished working on me. I was kind of spacey when she was showing me what she needed done, so when I did work on it, wasn’t totally sure all she needed done on two flyers and her letterhead. And none of the past versions were anywhere to be found on either of my computers. After a quick search, decided it would be easier to just create them from scratch and not waste any more time. Could have been done three computers ago and not transferred well to each upgraded computer over the last few years.

At 11:00 am, I was to meet someone from the Chamber to loan the Parking Signs with Arrows to them for the WineFest happening on Saturday. That went very smoothly. Lucky I had had the Zeb Boys pull all the signs to the front a few months ago, as those were behind heavy stuff and would not have been fun to get out if they hadn’t been moved forward by those strong young men.

I was signed up to go to StarGazers for Martini Shot. The first set was fun. During the break, I caught up with a couple of women friends and got to talk to the organizer to be sure he totally understood why I was a No-Show last Friday. Raccoons and my very sore shoulder and being filthy at that the time I would have normally left my house. He did and cracked a joke about being filthy in different ways.

The second set started with a very loud drum roll and the volume of all of the instruments was turned way up! I could not handle that, so left. Was probably a good idea since I had to get ready for the hike the next morning and it was good to get to sleep early enough to not feel tired when I woke up.

This was my second “stroll” hike with the Singles group and it was not as well attended as the last one, but met a couple of interesting women. I do hope the one calls me to help her get connected with some people I mentioned she might like to know. She took my card, but didn’t give me a way to call her, though on the site, I probably could find her, but that is just more work for me that I don’t need right now.

It was a lovely day, not many waterfowl were to be seen, but I just relaxed and enjoyed the walk in the sunshine.

I got to the healing session location too early. So drove home to eat and picked up my Grade B Maple Syrup that a group of us had ordered. The Cog traffic was horrendous, but I got home and fixed myself a quick lunch, then went back using the highway rather than driving back through Manitou Springs.

The ladies at the session were all ones I had met before. Two bought my “Discover Essential Oils Books” and one has a business in Fort Collins and she wanted to buy 6 copies wholesale. We set a time for her to come to my house and do that the next week. Watched a video about using essential oils on animals that was very interesting.

Just before the session, it began to rain, then hail. I felt very concerned for the WineFest. When driving home, I drove around Memorial Park, and it was filled with people. There was a perfect parking space, so I stopped and chatted with Leslie. Yes, it had rained and hailed, but people had just sheltered under tents and then came back out when the sun was shining again. But the ground was very muddy as the grass was not in good shape before the event, no water since last September has it in very bad condition. I was very grateful that this event went so well for all the effort our Chamber Staff put into it. And they said the signs worked really well. More people road the shuttle than any time in the past.

My roommate and I did some gardening and I am sure I worked more on the computer as that day ended. I also connected with my cottage tenant to assure her we would watch her big kitty while she was away for a week.

On Friday, I had tried to print the Images I wanted to enter in the 46 Views of Pikes Peak gallery show, but neither printer made them look good. I called Walgreens and asked if they could make 6″ by 4.25″ prints and I was told “yes.” Since the deadline was on Sunday, I decided to wait and take them to get printed on Sunday.

Sunday, when I went to get my images printed and was told that no, they only did 6″ x 4″ prints. Tried two other places and the same answer. So I decided to create 5″x7″ images to print, but hadn’t paid good attention to the price increase for those. I hurried back to Manitou, as I was working the afternoon shift at Commonwheel and this was the first day we would be using the new POS System. It is very slick and easy to use. But I was a wee bit tired, so when I was checking out I wasn’t as on point as normal, but since I had only had one sale, it was still easy. There were lots of people in during the shift, but no buyers. Though one gentleman who I had shown his lady some pricey pieces of jewelry, turned and whispered back to me as the were headed towards the door, “I’ll be back.”

On Monday I created 5″x7″ images by adding white border. I was shocked by the cost at Walgreens, so I went to my least favorite place to shop, WalMart. They had a better price on prints done in 1 hour, so I narrowed my choices down to 8 prints to see how they would look. I was scheduled to remeasure the park with two other Festival committee members at 3:30 and I did not have what I needed in the car. I drove home – cursing myself for not thinking ahead and putting the needed items in the car when I left earlier, but then, I hadn’t expected the price glitch or the time glitch to get the prints done.

The prints looked great. Just couldn’t take them to KRCC that day, as I would just make it to The Fields Park in time to meet everyone. I had forgotten sunscreen and had called the Commonwheel to ask someone to call one of the members to bring me some. It was a very sunny day and I did not need to get sunburned!

The measuring went quickly with these two very helpful people. I still haven’t had time to translate those new measurements onto the map, but it was helpful to determine we would have plenty of spaces and could even add another row if we wanted to go farther back to the West.

Our general meeting was that night and I did not have much of a report prepared, but wrote it up as the meeting progressed. I even remembered to bring the Job Sheet for members to sign up for their Festival Jobs.

Tuesday, I drove to get some supplements I needed and actually had a moment to see my dear healer and friend Vivian Rice at that office. Then I delivered the images to KRCC and they had no problem with them being a bit late, or at least that was what the receptionist said. The absolute deadline was June 7th for items that had to be postmarked by June 1st, so hand delivering them before that date was OK. Whew! I had put too much effort into this project to miss a deadline. And I rarely wait until the last minute to get things done, but it happened this time.

The rest of the day, I worked hard on many pieces of the Art Festival wanting to be able to take Wednesday off for a long hike if the weather was good and not feel guilty about not working that day.

My Tony Laidig webinar was about changing one’s mindset and one’s financial picture. It was one of his “tough love” sessions. And is actually part one of two or three other sessions that we will be having on the following Tuesdays.

I have been obsessed with taking photos of my Poppies and Iris and other flowers around town.My Iris are extremely beautiful this year. The ones from my parent’s Oregon home hadn’t bloomed much the last few years, but they are glorious this year. I really need to figure out a way for all of these photographs to create some financial freedom. I am trying to let my subconscious work on this challenge.

I have also signed up for two other courses. One to learn PhotoShop better and a 30 day book challenge. I am devoting this weekend to getting my Sustainable Event Book much closer to finished!

Wednesday my doorbell rang and I was greeted by tree trimmers. I instucted them to be very careful over the garden area. And they promised they would. I looked out when I was dressed and two guys were working with one in an area with nothing but weeds below and the guy dropping limbs above the garden had no helpers. I went out and told them they needed to pay attention more over my garden and my heirloom Iris from my parents home. This time they did seem to understand my concerns and worked more as a team on the garden side.

Wednesday was perfect weather for hiking in Lovell Gulch outside of Woodland Park. At the beginning of the trail we ran into two other artists out for a hike. We were just about a week early for the flowers to really be awesome, but there was plenty of beauty to be seen and I did get some nice flower and Pikes Peak photographs. I had in mind doing a 365 Views, or maybe just 52 Views of Pikes Peak before the KRCC “contest” came along, so I was prepared for that and have a different idea for my book. Just need to get it more solid in my mind. Will it have quotes? Or just locations? We’ll see. My hiking partner told me she has many notebooks filled with quotes . . .

We did the full loop. We left my house at 11 am and returned at 6:30 pm. It is about 30 minutes to the Trailhead, but my hiking friend wanted to drive up to Rampart Reservoir for the views. It was lovely. So I am not sure exactly how long we did hike, but we did the full loop. Many miles. We were both very tired at the end. I was very grateful that my knees did not pain me, and they actually felt better the next day than they have in weeks. So hiking is a cure?

When I got home, I decided to watch “So You Think You Can Dance” to really take a full day off. I love this show! And was really glad I did that.

Thursday I started a 3-day Lemon Fast with my Grade B Maple Syrup. It was also the first day that the big kitty, Louie was alone in the cottage. He did not seem to be doing well after his mistress had been gone all night. My roommate and I decided he needed to come spend her vacation with us in my house. Louie is a rescue Cat and hasn’t had an easy time since being adopted. He had some surgery before she took him home, then moved into a cottage nearby in the flood zone, and just a few months later moved here just in time for his mistress to leave for a week. He is a really big and loveable kitty. We both miss Kolohe who died a mysterious death last year just before the flooding in Manitou Springs. Louie lets my roommate walk him on a string and is very happy snuggling with her at night. I just hope he will be able to readjust to cottage life when his mistress returns  . . .

Zoltan who I am helping get a couple of books published came to my chaotic office and I set him some tasks to accomplish to get closer to being able to publish his book about a wild mustang. We are aiming at getting it done before I leave on the 22nd of this month. At least it should be a Kindle book, if not a CreateSpace book.

I didn’t go to any of the places I had on my calendar that day. Worked on Festival and Kathleen’s items. Made it through the first “fast” day with liquids and one banana. Just can’t take my pills without some food in my stomach or I begin to sneeze and feel queasy.

Friday and I met with the woman who was buying my books. She is very interesting and we would have talked longer, except she is allergic to cats and Louie wanted to rub on her, so we agreed to talk more another day.

Worked on lots of pieces for the Art Festival – Food Vendors in particular – and I keep finding things that need to get done relating to that part and had a couple of late applicants to look at. One was very good, the other, not a fit.

I had a “Tune-Up” at Sharing Inner Health and was able to have time to go over exactly what she wants on the flyers and letterhead. I will finish that up next week.

This magnificent Horse Chestnut Tree is in full bloom on the West edge of the property Sharing Inner Health offices at. It is very unusual for this tree to be seen in Colorado. I feel very blessed to have captured it in full bloom and shared it with my hiking partner when we were coming back into Manitou Springs after the Lovell Gulch hike.

Horse Chestnut Tree at Sharing Inner Health

I am not going to work on anything but my book this weekend, with standing breaks of clearing up my chaotic office. And probably some photos of the garden to get myself outside. That will be the last day of my 3-day cleanse. I am not good at this fasting stuff, and had to eat a banana and an avocado today.

The weather sounded like possible hail, and my roommate came home and we put sheets and tarps over all the garden areas. It didn’t hail and just barely sprinkled later in the evening.

Having caught up with this blog, but not my hiking one, it is way past my bedtime, so no photos, but may add some later. The Iris and Poppies really need to be seen!

Jury Day and a Sink Falls off the Bathroom Wall in the Cottage

I was awakened at 7:10 am on the morning of the Festival Jury with a phone call from my cottage tenant.

She told me the sink had fallen off the wall in the bathroom.

My first question was “Is there water spewing?”

“No,” she said.

That was good news. And next I said in jest, “Well, you had said you wanted to have a new sink.”

“I wouldn’t pull a stunt like that.” She sounded very upset, and hadn’t realized I was trying to lighten up the situation, not accuse her of doing anything to have caused the sink to fall off the wall.

We got that sorted out and I told her to be sure I had a key, as her brother had changed the lock when he moved in, so I could have my plumber friend look at it.

She leaving soon, and I just didn’t want to hurry up and get dressed to look at it, but I did go into the basement and turn off all of the water to the cottage as she couldn’t find shut off valves just for the sink and we really didn’t need to have a flooded cottage with us both gone for the day.

I called and left a message for my plumber friend and told him where he could find a key if he had time to look at it while we were gone. Not sure I remembered to tell him about the kitty that needed to not escape.

On Tuesday, I had bought a connector for the projector at Staples that did not work. I had called to see if anyone had a PC laptop, no one did. So I decided we would just look at the images on the screen of one or two of my laptops. I had called and told the member hosting the jury at her home that we did not need to use the screen, but needed a way to look at the laptop or laptops. We decided if she added an extra piece to her kitchen table, that that would work just fine, and it did. When I called her on Tuesday afternoon, she had upsetting news to tell me, she had broken the glass part of the Coffeemaker I had brought over a week before. That was the least of my worries, as she did have a smaller coffeemaker to use and I had not used this one for many years. I don’t drink coffee and never had brought it out for any gatherings as Festival committee meetings happened at night. It had come here when my parents visited as they had to have coffee, but mostly been hidden in a cabinet all these many years past.

I finished gathering what I needed for the Commonwheel Art Festival jury session and drove to the home where it was to take place. A bit stressed, but what could one do, but continue on with one’s scheduled day. Admittedly, thinking about what this would cost put a damper on my spirits and I was really concerned how this would effect my trip in June and if I could buy the Tony Laidig program for learning PhotoShop. Well, surely if I just bought the least expensive piece of it, I could still do that and get the training.

This member hosting the jury session was an excellent hostess. She added food items to the very complete offerings I had, so we did not go hungry during this all day process.

There were not enough entries to fill the park, and still we had to reject a few and put a couple on the Wait List as there were too many in a couple of categories. With no really bad looking art, this was hard. Still a few offerings did not please all members of the jury, so rejections happened.

I will have to put out a call for an extended deadline with a few categories closed as I have one year in the past. More extra work for me. And I will go back and listen to the phone calls to see if I can invite some of those who missed the deadline to be apply. There was at least one that sounded interesting and different from anything we accepted.

We all worked well together, had some stories to tell of travels during lunch on the patio with a great view of Pikes Peak in the sunshine.

Finished up with one glitch. Neither of the people who were pulling checks and applications from the return envelopes heard me say to put the applications in their categorized folder that they came out of.  Not a big deal, but just a bit of extra time before we could get packed up and finished with the whole jury session.

I had had a phone call from my plumber and my traveling companion during the session. Each had something I needed to deal with later. So when I got home made those phone calls. My plumber friend had estimated it would cost me about $300 to buy the replacement sink and the faucet, not good news, and that didn’t include his labor to put it in if the father couldn’t.

Talking with my traveling companion for Young Living, she offered to give me a massage Friday in place of a cancellation she had and told me she needed me to do some more computer work for her, so we could do a trade. That sounded great to my sore body. And I will get a Raindrop Treatment on Saturday as the demo body, so that should help me heal more.

My roommate was rather low key and stretched out on the porch. She told me she had done a great deal of seed planting in the garden today. And that some negative energy from people from the past had been strongly around her. She went off to a healer to help remove that energy from around her and the house.

My cottage tenant had called to say her father would come and look at the situation that evening when he was off work. So I was sitting on the front porch when the cottage tenant came home and she had some lovely news for me. Since she had wanted to put a new sink in the bathroom, they had gone and bought the sink and he would install it. We chatted about her cat and made jokes about him having jumped up and broke it as he is a heavy kitty. Then I mentioned I would need some help watering the garden when I was traveling and she could do that. And she needed someone to watch over her kitty when when she would be traveling earlier in June. I will happily watch over Louie and make sure he doesn’t get too lonely while she is gone.

When her parents showed up, I told them how very thankful I was to have them in my life. I thanked them profusely for taking care of this problem. And they assured me they had planned on doing it a bit later in the summer, but since this problem happened now, they just wanted to get it fixed quickly and their daughter would be happy with the new sink for a longer time.

I was really tired, but couldn’t rest easily, so took my camera out to the garden and played a bit with some macro shots and tried to get the perfect image of an Iris with the creek water running behind it.

I listened to the Tony Laidig Expert Media PhotoShop training and it was really helpful. I need to purchase that program and get myself promoting it in hopes of creating some income soon. And I looked at the info for the Kindle book class, need to get that affiliate link also.

And now I have stayed up way too late tonight, catching up with these last few challenging days with a few magical and lovely pieces.

My hiking partner did not call back, so not sure what I will do tomorrow, but I really need to spend some time in nature and not bending over in the garden, as much as I love my wonderful flowers growing there.

 Iris in my Manitou Springs Garden

A Long Day of Getting Ready for the Art Festival Jury Session

Monday was a holiday for many people, but I spent it getting things done for the Art Festival jury session on Wednesday.  This post crosses over a bit with one before where I talk about what I did on Tuesday, the day after the Holiday Monday.

I discovered that I didn’t have PowerPoints for all of the categories. Jewelry and Mixed Media were missing. I knew the member doing them wasn’t at work that day, which was the only place she could work on these for me. Left a message as she didn’t answer her phone all day. I also had to create quite a few last minute slides of the work of applicants that I had not gotten to her last week or had shown up in the mailbox at the gallery over the weekend.

I had to write all of the Acceptance (food and artists), Rejection (food and artists), Wait List letters that needed to get copied to put in the envelopes during the jury session. Plus create a chart of how many were accepted in each category and print out maps of the park to decide exactly how many spaces we had to fill with the new arrangement of booths and the addition of the beer garden.

This made for a very full day of computer work for me.

I have to admit I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and am trying to figure out how to not have so much to do for the Festival in the future. But after the jury session, the real work for advertising and more pieces will need to be done and I am scheduled to be gone for a week at the end of June, so can’t get behind or will not enjoy my trip to Young Living’s Convention.

Now along with my knee that keeps swelling, I have had to nurse my shoulder and arm. Making me not a very joyful person physically, but most people I have been working with don’t realize just how much pain I am in, as complaining is not my style. Just hope I can get back to hiking again soon. Not that I have had time to hike . . . and have made some short jaunts around town to the Commonwheel and the Post Office on foot to enjoy the flowers.

 The iris that came from my parents’ home in Oregon years ago haven’t bloomed in quite some time, but are about to bloom now and I can hardly wait. A few have opened up, but so many more are just about ready to open I am really excited to see this garden area in full bloom again.

I really want to do an entry for the Pikes Peak Photo show!!! And that is due on June 1st – need to go read the instructions to see if it is still possible for me to get an entry or two in by that date.

Cloudy Pikes Peak & Birds

And how could I forget the beauty that ended my day. I decided to walk out to the porch where my roommate was laying down on the couch to see what the sky was doing. It was a very interesting color, and then I saw a wonderful sight: A rainbow over the building across the street.

I grabbed my camera and walked out to the street to get a better look.

While I was snapping pictures, and my battery was getting very low, it became a double rainbow in one section. That gave me a bit of a joyful burst to end my day and think of as I went to sleep later.

Rainbow in Manitou Springs

Working at Commowheel and In the Garden with Stressed Shoulder

After a night’s sleep, I woke up pretty stiff.

Allowed myself to sleep in a bit later than normal. I was scheduled to work the afternoon shift at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op for pay for another member, so did have to get moving. My shoulder was pretty sore, but could have been much worse if I had fallen down those stairs. So used more essential oils and rubbed on it as best I could. Gradually felt less stiff and a hot shower did help loosen up my whole body.

I went to listen to the basement pipe, and there was no sound. Did mama move the babies on that rainy night? Not sure yet.

My tenant’s boyfriend and I decided to cut down another small tree an he perfectly created an easier exit ramp for Mama if she hadn’t left to encourage her to get everyone into a new den away from people. They didn’t think they had heard anything at night either, but we didn’t want to jump to conclusions as we did before and have Mama Raccoon stay longer because her easy access had been removed.

He also volunteered to clean out all of the houses gutters the next day if it really was a drier day as the weatherman predicted. And check out what the chimney looks like and figure out if he can put a screen on it. What a blessing that would be for me! The roof is really angled, as it is an old Victorian home and the slope is scary. When I was younger, I did climb on it and push raccoon poop off one area every year and cleaned my own gutters. But haven’t been able to do that in recent years for various reasons beyond just getting older – health issues that I really need to write about soon to share how I overcame some very challenging health issues.

 I decided to go to the Post Office to check for more Festival applications, but there were none.

When getting ready for to work the gallery, I forgot to grab some FantaFaces masks I wanted to take to the gallery and was feeling pretty stiff again. I did massage and rubbed more Young Living Essential Oils into my arm before leaving home. The morning shift only had less than $100 in sales, so I thought it might be a slow day. Luckily it was not. I had a rather busy time and ended with close to $900 in sales, so felt pretty happy with that turn-around. Even sold another mask, so will take some masks off Etsy and put them in the gallery where they are selling. Gotta love the tourists and their fresh way of looking at things!

I did a MAP Coning that evening and it did seem to help quite a bit. I heartily thanked whichever Guardian Angel that had kept me from falling down the stairs and saving me from what would have been a very painful experience. I asked for healing of my knee and my arm. I am afraid I was feeling a bit cranky that my knee was really acting up also the last few days, and I am sure the almost fall hadn’t helped.

Sunday I had thought as an alternative day to go to MeadowGrass or a Singles Barn Party, but just couldn’t talk myself into driving anywhere and felt really behind with yard work, so stayed close to home. I worked on getting some of the plants I had bought into containers and planting some seeds in the front garden. My tenant’s boyfriend decided he could clean the gutters and needed some help at times, but mostly just took care of it himself. Later we stepped back and looked at the chimney from below, and found some screen that he could use. He went up and cleaned out a mess as far as he could reach, but we still were not positive the raccoons were all gone. Next time he is down and we feel it is empty, he will get the screen attached.

That evening they had invited friends to come over for a barbeque. They were looking at the charcoal grills when I said we should check out the gas one and see if it had fuel. It did and that was a better solution than buying charcoal and lighter fluid. I kind of invited myself to join them and went in to defrost chicken that was in my freezer. They went off to get some groceries.

 The male (brother) cottage tenant was getting moved out and his sister was getting moved in finalizing the end to her staying at the flood plain cottage. The driveway was very full of cars and trucks. The upstairs tenant’s friends arrived, a bit of a challenge in the driveway, but got them parked. My roommate’s boyfriend came to pick her up, more maneuvering, but luckily when the trucks had left to take some items away. Glad I do have so much space out there. It was filled to the max. And the father caught a small tree with the mirror of his truck. He was very apologetic, but it was not an important tree, and actually was crowding an older tree. He offered to cut it down and dispose of it, which I said would be fine when he had the chance later in the week.

Their mother was excited to have a garden to work in and went to work weeding and planning how to get a lawn on one side. The father helped her paint the bedroom a lovely light blue and did some other work getting her settled.

A fun coincidence was when the upstairs tenant’s friends came, I was told that Dave was a grill master. Now it was Dave and David that had lived upstairs and in the cottage a few years back that had been the grill masters at that time. And here was another Dave who was a great grill person. I had a lovely time with these younger people. We all contributed something to the party for food and they had Sangria that I drank and enjoyed along with other shared food. Even as the night became a bit chilly, no one wanted to go in or home, so jackets were put on and the conversation continued into the darkening night.

Raccoons in the Chimney and a Miraculous Save

Five days of craziness and some fun since my last post.

My stress level is very high, my body is in pain, but getting things done and enjoyed some time off with my tenant and her friends on Monday.

Yesterday, I emailed the person who was suppose to be getting an insurance quote for the Festival, the beer garden and our gallery and maybe flood insurance also. I got a response from another person at the company saying this person was no longer with the company and there was nothing in her files about the proposal she had done for the Festival and the beer garden, let alone for the gallery! Not good timing. Our President, when I suggested she contact the new person said she had no more energy for insurance research. And I am not thrilled with the two quotes she has gotten . . . more on that next week perhaps.

I contacted the person who is doing the beer garden and had just finished MeadowGrass, he was shocked also. He did mention another person he had also been working with, so he will follow up with that later this week.

Our Stage Coordinator got a quote from one sound person who has taken on some of the jobs of the person who had done the sound at the Art Festival for many years, and that quote was double what we had been playing. Shocking reality! She might get him to do it for slightly less, but not sure. I suggested she ask our MeadowGrass connection if he really did have some ideas for who else might be available for a bit less cost. Her daughter just graduated and she had been focused on that.

She also said one of our past sponsor might not want to sponsor again because we are working with an ex-employee . . . not sure how that relates. After the jury tomorrow, I may have to call them and see what is really going on with them as I have included their logo in a couple of Summer Fun Guides already. I really need to get some sponsorship contracts found, signed and finished up, just had so much on my plate lately that that hasn’t been my highest priority.

This morning I went to the Gallery to make copies of letters and the jury sheets we would need tomorrow. Of course the copier jammed. The first two I was able to get it working again. But the third one was so bad I couldn’t even see where the paper was. I had taken a small piece of paper out with the first jam, and had thought that was the problem, but who knows what caused the second and third jams . . . and I was going to Staples where I could get the last pieces needed copied easily and quickly.

I learned that a past participant had called the gallery about the Art Festival with a question and the worker had told him to call me. When there was not a message on my home phone, I decided to check to see if he had called the Festival message line. He had days ago. I discovered that no one had checked that phone for messages since April 26th! There were 13 unheard messages.

We lost some possible entries, but I saved one. I told the caller if they got their application delivered to my door in my mailbox this afternoon, I would get it into the jury session tomorrow and he did. There have been other late delivered entries, but this is the latest and all have caused me some extra work. But every jury fee is a help to the Festival’s Financial bottom line this year. Wish I had wondered or taken action when I wondered why no Festival committee member had called me with a question that they couldn’t answer when checking that message line. But I didn’t . . . so it goes.

And my upstairs tenant had thought she needed a ride to work with car trouble just as I was getting ready to leave. I took that time to answer a few more of the messages or decide not to answer some that it was way too late to handle. And two other people called as I was talking on the phone. Pretty crazy! My tenant then called and told me she had a different solution to her car situation.

I had wanted to do shopping for the food for the Festival jury and some for the house, but leaving late, only did for the jury session. When I called the home where we were to be jurying the phone just hung up on me. I decided to stop by anyway in hopes of dropping off the groceries and not having to unload, the reload them tomorrow morning. They were home, their phone has been acting oddly. I was really running late for a ManiFest meeting, so hurried on my way.

At the ManiFest meeting there was lovely food from Seeds Cafe. Yum! And I was hungry. I also boldly questioned how Commonwheel could better work with the whole ManiFest concept rather than with one person who had not been very good at returning my calls or answering any questions by email. The organizer liked my idea and agreed it would work better for Commonwheelers to just do their own thing closer to our Gallery and not try to connect with the other person. Win! Now just need to get those Commonwheelers who said they would do something that day to tell me what they could demonstrate and the time they want to do that by June 5th.

A couple of days ago, I had tried to get the projector for displaying the art to be juried working with my new MacBook Pro and it would not work. Today I bought a connector that was suggested on many forums. But even though the salesperson insisted that she was selling exactly what I needed, it wasn’t. I decided that with only 5 people doing this year’s jury session, we could just look at the images on the laptop screens – I will bring two – and that will work as well as if I went through all the hassle of recreating the files in an older version of PowerPoint and setting up the old Mac that the projector worked with last year. I just couldn’t convince myself to do any more work on this project tonight. I am sure it will work just fine as many years ago when the light went out in a projector with more members of that year’s jury, we were able to finish up gathered around a small screen of the older laptop and get the job done.

I was working on this solution when I suddenly realized it was almost 6pm – and I was missing my Tony Laidig Tuesday Expert Media Show that was to be a lesson on PhotoShop I had really been looking forward too. I got there just as he was talking about the full blown training program he was offering and it would also be something we could sell ourselves. I will have to listen to the replay to get more details. But this is something I could have fun with and get behind selling. (Will post a link here when I have the affiliate link after purchasing the program.) He rarely does trainings that are not live, but he and a couple of other internet and book writing “gurus” have put together behind the scenes. I am sure it will be more than great. Tony is a really good trainer and always delivers more than promised. Plus, I am really ready to learn more about all the ways I can use PhotoShop to enhance and then sell my photos I have been taking. I know there will be marketing tips along with lessons in how to work in PhotoShop. Excited, yes! Exhausted, yes! Looking for the next thing to do to change my financial situation for the better, YES!

Now about that raccoon. After not hearing any sound for a little while, the other day, my tenant’s boyfriend had cut down the tree that we thought was being used to get on the roof. That turned out to not be the only way it was getting on the roof, as I again heard noises in the pipe later that day.

Well, it wasn’t just one raccoon, and she wasn’t stuck in the chimney pipe. It was a mama and at least two babies, probably three. After hearing the “purring” sound again, I had started to clear out the lower vent pipe thinking that would be easier to get a ramp to and help get it out when I realized there was more than one voice and more than one size of face that poked out of the higher vent pipe. Then as I kept digging out the dirt, little feet or tiny furry butts could be seen. Now I was really concerned about how to get them all out.

I did some research on the internet and discovered this was not an unusual situation. And that mama would want to get the babies out when the started to grow.

I went back and removed the cap from the lower pipe. As I was stretching towards the lower pipe to see if it was filled back up again, I started to slip. I could see myself falling to the bottom of the stairs as there was no railing to grab onto and the wall was just flat drywall. A miraculous save happened, similar to when a truck had started to tilt and fall on my car years ago. I felt a presence and was able to stop my fall and right myself on the stairs. I might have gotten my hand on the thin ledge, but was pretty much in a daze while this all happened. I really wrenched my right shoulder badly, but I was not at the bottom of the stairs in a crumpled mess. So very grateful for my Guardian Angel who once again stepped in to save my life and body from harm.

Raccoon in pipe in Chimney above basement  stairs

I decided that having a ramp and an exit through the basement window was not a good plan. Mama was obviously getting up and down the chimney. So I limped down the stairs to shut the window and heard a “thump” behind me. Turned around to see a baby dazed and partially caught in a plastic bag on the basement floor. He took the fall I hadn’t. Weird, but true. I was able to get a box on top of him and the plastic pulled out away from him first. He was not a happy camper under there, but I didn’t know what else to do at that moment. I was still assessing my own injured body.

My phone rang and my roommate was calling thinking I was going to be gone out dancing that night, so wasn’t going to be able to help assess the raccoon situation. When I told her of the new challenge, and that I was not going anywhere until baby was back in the pipe with mama, she said she would come home in an hour or so.

I decided to try to eat some dinner, and each time I sat down to eat something interrupted me, including my roommate coming home sooner than she said. She was in a “hurry up” mode and didn’t not hear when I told her I was injured, so kept getting frustrated when I couldn’t move as fast or hold something as high as she wanted. Not wanting to make the situation worse, I just did my best to follow her lead, as she has had more experience with animals than I have had.

I had first suggested we catch it in a towel with one lifting the box, the other ready to cover it. No, she got it into the cat carrier and held that up to the pipe. Then wanted to have a board support it as the baby wasn’t moving out. Finally, when that did not work, she agreed to try the towel method. Baby was very traumatized by now and was easy to catch. Gently pushing it into the pipe worked to get it back to mama.

It had started to rain hard, then harder. We went out and covered some areas of the garden, as tiny hail was also beginning to fall. Then the Emergency Warning Phone Call came and the sirens went off in Manitou Springs saying flooding was imminent. My roommate couldn’t handle that type of stress, so headed off to her boyfriend’s home that was out of the flood plain. I pretty much collapsed and ate my cold dinner. I had to miss going out dancing as I was filthy, in pain and exhausted.

Later took a walk around downtown to see how high the creek had gotten. Thankfully it had not really gotten very high, thanks to the dredging. The heavy rain did bring down lots of small debris from hillsides around town and onto the sidewalks and into the street, but mostly it was just a normal Spring rain in Manitou Springs.

My tenant’s boyfriend being so helpful, a lovely night visitor and seeing all the Iris and Poppies getting ready to bloom made my day a bit happier. I used lots of essential oils on my shoulder and knee, so I did sleep very soundly that night.

 Moth, Poppies & Iris Buds

Water Leak and Racoon Challenges

On Saturday, when the Festival applications were dropped off, I also had to redo the Excel a bit for the jurying of the images. I realized we had way fewer applications than in the past. Not even enough to fill the park! This was a very stressful realization. At least when we looked at the images there was no junk or “crafty” applicants. So the hardest part would be if there were too many jewelers and we had to reject some, lowering the number of booth and fees even more.

Sunday I worked for 4 hours with another Commonwheel member downloading the images from applications onto a Thumb drive.

Such a variety of sizes caused some problems. Some were really, really huge – over 20 megabytes! But at least they all opened other than one person’s. This person has applied for many years, so we had last year’s images to use and we know her well. It took a bit of time to size some of them down during this time so she would not have to spend extra time later if they were too big and would make the PowerPoint too big to email back to me. She lives in Pueblo, so was hoping to not have to drive the Thumb Drive back up to Manitou.

We finished just in time for her to get to Commonwheel on time to work the afternoon shift.

That afternoon I wrote an email to send out that night. I sent it just to artists who had applied before that hadn’t applied this time asking if they had missed the earlier deadline. We extended the deadline to the end of the week if they did want to take part in the jury for the Art Festival. On Tuesday there were about 10 more applications and some emails back saying that “The Fields Park” did not work for them and purposely had not applied.  Will check the PO Box on Friday in hopes a few more do show up.

 On Monday I focused on getting the Posts done for “Demented” and some ads and Press Releases needed for Westword for the Commonwheel Art Festival. I continued doing that also on Wednesday and into Thursday.

Tuesday I had 3 meetings scheduled. One with the City Manager to discuss being allowed to put out extra signage the week leading up to and the days of the Art Festival to let people know something was fun was happening at a Park they could not see from Manitou Avenue. Plus I needed to find out if Tajine Alami parking lot would be free on that weekend, or if he had exempted it from the City’s contract for Shuttle parking. He hadn’t, which was great news.

I went to the Bank to deposit all of the Jury Fee Checks and noticed there was equipment in the creek doing some dredging, so I took some time to take pictures.


I was wearing sandals and couldn’t get quite where I had a good vantage point, but am sure a few will be useful in the future for the updating on my “Lessons From Past Floods” book, if I ever get time to write again. (Maybe should be doing that instead of blogging . . . )

Dredging Fountain Creek in Manitou Springs

I took lots of photos of flowers on my walk. And I just had to take a few photos of the flowers about to bloom in my garden.

Peony & Poppies BudsThere were two Poppies that had a hint of oranges showing and the Peony buds had ants crawling all over them to help them bloom very soon.

When I was sitting on my porch enjoying my lunch, a City Staff person walked into the yard and held out a blue piece of paper saying “I guess this is for you.” It was a notice of an exorbitant amount of water that had been used the last month. 10,000 gallons more than the previous month! This is sure to be very costly, just when I thought I could afford new computer glasses.

I went in and listened to all the pipes, heard no running water. The dial on the water meter wasn’t moving. I had no idea what could be using that much water. So I had to schedule a leak check to figure out the problem. Couldn’t do it that day as I had two more meetings scheduled and my Tony Laidig Tuesday Expert Media Show at 5pm.

I had planned on walking to the Chamber meeting, but after calling my tenants to let them know I might be doing an inspection in their spaces the next morning and again trying to listen for running water or see if the water meter was moving, and it wasn’t, well, it was just too late to walk. So drove there.

The meeting at the Chamber was actually 2 meetings. One to discuss the Chamber helping Commonwheel by hiring the Shuttle we would need, then Commonwheel would pay them as we did last year. She was agreeable to doing that. And probably can get us a better rate that way also.

Next there was a Marketing Meeting. Here I got some help with doing Press Releases to reach more media in a much larger region than just Colorado Springs for the Art Festival and probably they will schedule 2 Live Remotes during the Art Festival as part of the marketing package that was added on to the normal marketing package in years past. Two Big wins! They also asked if I could supply some flood pictures for a group that was offering some more grants to Manitou Springs Businesses that got harmed financially by the flood in 2013.

Got home in time to grab a snack before the Expert Media Show began. He mentioned at the end that he will be doing a training for PowerPoint, something I have wanted for many years.

As I was working on choosing and sizing flood pictures, the John Lennon song “Strange Days Indeed” came on. How very appropriate. The line: “Nobody told me there would be days like these” resonated with me strongly at that moment.

Little did I know the next day would hold an even stranger challenge.

On Thursday, during the Leak Check, it turned out it was my bedroom bathroom toilet was just barely cresting the overflow pipe and ever so slightly constantly sending water down that drain. No sound and so slow that the water meter dial wasn’t noticeably moving. They adjusted a screw and the level of water ended much lower. So simple, yet so horrible. I “save” flushes, take short showers, etc. And here I wasted more water in a month than I would have used watering the gardens for all summer. Frustrating and will be costly, but fixed.

Next I walked over to take pictures for MSAC of a sculpture that was being installed on a pedestal. The welder and artist was there, but the sculpture was not. The artist was bringing it the next day. So the installation was stalled. The welder had a bit of fun with a vegetable that was on the ground nearby. 

MSAC Sculpture Stalled InstalationI walked to the Post Office and did not find any more applications. One more day before the extended deadline is reached. I know I will still walk over and check until the very last moment in hopes of finding a few more late applications to help with the final financial picture.

I saw that some Poppies and Iris had bloomed, so stopped to not smell, but photograph the flowers.

Iris in my Garden

When I got home, I heard this strange sort of “purring” sound from the basement stairway.

When I looked in the vent pipe at eye level, at least 6 feet above the stairs, a little raccoon face was staring out at me. It quickly retreated.Raccoon Stairs_7233

Now I had noticed some insulation and bits of plaster on the stairs when I had gone in the basement to check the water meter the day before, but had not heard any noise.

I sort of “freaked out” with this discovery.

I called the Humane Society which directed me to the Wildlife Management Division. They do not capture wild animals in any one’s homes any more. Suggested I call someone in the phone book, but had not suggestions for who. Called two friends who I thought might have a humane trap. Neither did. Wanted to give my roommate a heads up, as the pipe comes down the chimney that is in her bedroom, but is sealed off.

Then remembered my plumber friend had dealt with skunks before and called him. He had a Live Trap, but was busy until the end of the day. Thinking about it, not sure how a Live Trap would help, as the creature was in a pipe that was way up in the air. I went outside and looked out at the roof and the chimney. I can’t figure out how the creature got on the roof, as the trees raccoons used to climb on had been cut down. And then how did it get into the chimney? But being at the bottom of a two story metal pipe that lines the chimney, I couldn’t imagine any way for it to climb back out.

Went back to finishing up the ads for Westword and as the day went on, checked to see if it was still in the pipe. Yep, it could be heard. At least it was still alive.

I was getting ready to go to Green Drinks at the Local Grocery when my friend showed up. We looked at the situation together and decided to put a board as a ramp down in hopes it would climb out on its own. Then we put a board ramp to a partially opened window to give it an easy exit route, hoping nothing else would come into the basement and use that ramp tonight.

Last I checked, it was still in the vent pipe . . .

Green Drinks was a smallish crowd, had some interesting conversations. And one person may be bringing me some Chocolate Mint plants. I had almost bought one when looking at plants a few days ago, but didn’t, so that would be lovely to have.

The first Poppies BloomedAnd my Poppies are just beginning to pop out in glorious orange.




And the Challenges Just Keep Coming

Can’t believe I haven’t posted since the 13th of May!

My hiking friend and I had discussed doing a hike and then going to the hot springs on Wednesday, but that didn’t’ happen. I wasn’t ready to expose the rash on my leg to water shared by lots of people and neither of us sounded to enthused about a long drive.

So instead we met at the Garden of the Gods Spring Creek Parking area and hiked a trail neither of us had ever hiked before. It is near my favorite unmapped hiking area, and looked kinda boring from the start of it. But it held a lovely surprise of being a really interesting short hike. It had fun rock formations, including ones that seemed to be kissing.

Kissing Rocks in Garden of the Gods

It gave us some really great views of Pikes Peak and some lovely Ancient Cedar trees. And a bird serenaded us near the end singing his love song to find a mate.

Pikes Peak & Incline viewed from Garden of the Gods

We actually wanted to keep hiking, so we also went on the Siamese Twin Trail. I have hiked this trail many times, but my hiking friend never had. The famous “key hole” view of Pikes Peak was a bit disappointing as the clouds had come in so the snow covered peak blended into to the clouds above. Still a fun little hike. And we had hiked up from a different direction than I usually hike up from, so had some different views of the Siamese Twins.

There was a young couple from Illinois, my home state, that I had an interesting conversation with about Colorado and how I didn’t miss Illinois with its bugs and humidity at all.

My left knee was feeling much better, but I was glad we had chosen to do these easy trails rather than a really long hike and drive to the Hot Springs down south. I did continue to put cold packs alternating with magnets on my knee when I got home to encourage it to heal even more. All in all, a nice change of pace without being too tiring.

My cottage tenant had told me that he wanted to have a roommate to help with the rent. We set a time to meet his potential roommate at 7pm that night. It turns out it was a female with a boyfriend and a very large vehicle. She seemed nice, and the boyfriend was very polite and had lived in Manitou before the parking changes.

I had chosen the current tenant because he had one car and was a single person. Most others had two vehicles and/or many pets. When I showed her the lease that says “No Dogs” very clearly stated, she mentioned she and her boyfriend were thinking of getting a dog to share.

The cottage only has one room with a door, so I wondered about the privacy issue. Something just didn’t feel right about this arrangement.

So I told her I needed to have a night to think it over.

The next day I worked an all day shift at Commonwheel Artists Co-op. It was very busy. And I had lots of fun with customers, in particular a couple of women who bought a few of my feather jewelery items and a mask. I didn’t get much done on the computer and didn’t have time to talk with the Cottage tenant.

The new gallery show was up and I had lots of fun with that as a talking piece. The show’s title is “Demented” and I suggest people checking out the art there could easily see the theme was well portrayed by the artists who were showing there.

I also handed out lots of the Chambers brochures about Manitou Springs that people loved getting and encouraged more conversations about the Springs and other galleries in the area.

When I got home I called the cottage tenant and he said things had changed. He had an opportunity to work more at a more northern location and wondered if his sister who was living in a Manitou cottage in the Cañon Avenue flood plain with a month-to-month lease could take over his lease. I said I would love to meet her and that seemed like a really perfect solution for us all.

Friday morning I was working a half day shift for pay for another Commonwheel member. I had left the computer there, making it easier to stop at the Post Office to pick up applications that I could then give to the Festival Committee member who was opening them and putting info into an Excel Spreadsheet for the jury on May 28th. She was suppose to have stopped by on Thursday, but got waylaid, so had to come by Friday morning to pick them up, then get them back to me as she was leaving town Saturday morning and I needed them to work with another member who creates the PowerPoints who was coming to my home on Sunday morning. It worked out for her to drop them off at my house on Saturday as they were heading up Highway 24 and that would take them past Manitou.

I had another good selling morning, almost as good as the whole day on Thursday. And again, I had a fun time with customers. I told them the opening for the “Demented” show and Art Walk in Manitou Springs was happening that very night.

I got a little bit of word done at home, then went back to the Art Walk. The crowd was good at Commonwheel and the “Demented” artists were having a very fun opening.

Demented Gallery show at Commonwheel Artists Co-op

A Commonwheel member who has been a bit of a thorn in my side for years was working the afternoon shift and at the opening. She told me that the ladies who bought some of my items and other jewelry items had come back in and purchased another pendant of mine. They also told her what a fun time they had shopping and talking with me. Win!

Another member and I walked to the Mountain Living Studio and Green Horse Gallery openings. Then headed down to Manitou Art Center for an opening of my across the street neighbors very large paintings and another friend’s “mandala” paintings. We lost track of each other and she headed back without me, which was fine.

When I walked up the street, I took some photos of a profusion of white flowers in a dusky setting. Some actually came out well.

Piramide is a store that was Commonwheel’s next door neighbor for many years. Last year this store got hit with some flooding damage inside.


They owned a building on Manitou Avenue and decided rather than rent that one out and pay rent on Cañon Avenue, they would move to higher ground. They were having their grand opening, so I stopped by and chatted with them while drinking some wine and enjoying chocolate cake. The new store looked really nice, a bit more open and spacious.

I can’t remember what I did on Saturday – I know some of it was prepping for the session with the member who was coming on Sunday to get the images to create PowerPoints. And some of it related to creating ads for the Art Festival for a Summer Edition of Westword. And perhaps I sized some of the photos from the gallery show to do postings on Facebook. Kind of a blur of computer and some house cleaning so the area I needed to work at for the Image downloading session was cleared up.

Ah, yes, now I remember. I worked in my studio creating some pairs of earrings for the Commonwheel and to put on Etsy and some a woman who bought a pendant might like. I needed to see the photo of my display I had taken to figure out which colors and types of feathers I needed to use to not duplicate what I had at the gallery.

When I walked in my studio, I saw a police officer shining a flashlight in my door. I opened the door and asked if I could help him. Then I sort of zoned out with his questions seeing flashing lights on many vehicles in front of the house on the street. I could blame it on how I reacted for a few years after the bad car accident, but just barely heard what he was asking me. The were looking for the girl that my cottage tenant had wanted as a roommate, but I didn’t connect the description of her from them until they were walking away. I had suggested they check at the cottage, but his truck was not in the driveway, so wasn’t sure anyone was there. As they were walking away they said someone from California had called to say that their friend was in distress and was at 106 Ruxton, so that is why they were at my door.

This information sort of caused me to come out of my fog and I got concerned that I had not helped them by not connecting their description to this girl. And I had actually seen her on the bridge earlier in the day looking a bit dreamy and moving not very steadily. I can not explain why I didn’t realize the connection until they were walking away. Their description just didn’t gel with my memory of her, but then I have never been good at describing people or noticing when friends make radical hair changes.

I  went to the kitchen window to see if they did need to get into the cottage, but the door was open and they were entering. Next came a stretcher. They brought her out on the stretcher, her eyes were open and the cottage tenant was there now.

This whole situation was very disturbing. I am glad I had not agreed to have her as a tenant the other night, but why I was so disconnected or denied knowing the person the officer described also was disturbing to me.

I am not in a very centered place right now.

Or perhaps a bit Demented . . .

A Blue Heron Made My Day Tolerable By Adding Unexpected Beauty

This has been a very challenging day.

First, my Healing Circle actually got me a bit angry rather than taking a step towards healing. She spoke of a way of seeing the World in a way I find very difficult to embrace. And it just doesn’t resonate with me at all. So I won’t be listening to that replay the next two weeks. It may have stirred me up enough to write her about it.

It is hard for me to accept that all the people who have done untruthful and hurtful things to me in very large ways are actually a reflection of myself. Do I really want to beat someone up? Do I really want to steal someone’s retirement funds? Do I really want to botch a surgery to cause a patient more pain than they came with? Do I really want to run into someone’s car and injure them? I can’t see any of those things as a truthful part of me and those and more challenges have all happened to me in this lifetime.

Then as I was getting ready to leave, I read an email that riled me up even more. I have constantly strived at Commonwheel to help the jewelers get back some space that had been taken over by another artist. This would free up the top of their cases so it would look less cluttered and give them space to display more items that people could easily try on, especially earrings. So one of the jewelers wrote an email about how to in my opinion “trash” my display. It was not said in kind words how much she dislikes the display I have had for years and works very well for me. People interact with it, try on masks, go around all sides of it. It shows off each mask as a separate piece of art. She thinks it is cumbersome and out of the 60’s! She thinks having a screen for a background that people could look through would look better. Right! The FantaFaces masks without a solid background would be lost in the viewing of something behind them and not look very individualized, but mixed in with whatever was behind them. And then people lift the on and off hooks. They have trouble enough getting them back on the pins properly. How many masks would get destroyed by being hung by the elastic rather than through both eyes laying flat on a mesh backdrop? Plus it would be very difficult to display my hair pieces, pins and necklaces on a mesh.

I used to have a wall space years ago. And I never rotated my space, as having the pin boards to save nailing into the crumbling walls made it difficult to move those to most of the varying sizes of walls. At one time the wall artists decided they wanted more wall space, so this display that looks like walls was created by the same woodworker who made the jewelry cases, with pin boards behind a very neutral material. They have worked very well for me and no customer has said anything negative about them. Instead, the walk around it and pick up masks to try on and call their friends and family to it to share in the fun. I think that is a winner of a display, not one that needs changing.

Later in the day at another artist’s studio, she was showing me around we passed a mesh mannequin. I loved the mannequin as a piece of art. And she said yes, it is fun, but the jewelry gets lost in the mesh. She said that people don’t see the jewelry. She had some very large beaded necklaces on it and I had to agree what I saw was the mesh mannequin, not the jewelry. Perfect words to explain why a mesh background for masks would not work either.

Getting ready to leave, I thought I had everything I needed. First I went to the Post Office and picked up more Art Festival applications. Then went to make a deposit at my bank, but discovered the check was not in my possession. I will be going somewhere tomorrow, so can deposit it then.

I had to take a coffee pot I had discovered I had from my parents visits years ago to the person who would be hosting the jury for the Art Festival. It happened to be the same person who wrote the negative comments about my display in the jury/display email. I had it all packed to go the night before and really wanted to get that task done. I stopped in a parking lot near her home and called on my cell phone to see if anyone was home. Lucky for me, and probably for her, her husband answered and was at home. So I was able to hand it over to him and not have a confrontation with the jeweler.

Next, I stopped to get $1.00 raspberries at King Soopers and some paper towels at the Dollar Store. I did get the perfect midway parking space for both stores. As I was walking towards the Dollar Store, I realized someone was trying to get my attention. It was a very dear friend. I was so distracted with the display email I realized I wasn’t really in touch with where I was. And I sort of exploded on her with what was going on that morning in explanation of why I hadn’t seen her in front of me. Her husband came walking up, another dear friend and I tried to just turn it around to get some hugs, but kept talking a bit more, unloading about the Spiritual unrest from this morning. I really was not handling my day well for being with friends. But luckily they are really good friends and accepted that I needed to rant a bit. Then we changed the subject to the “Old Spokes” Gallery Show he had participated in and that he needed to pick up his art later that day. And what a fun time the opening had been. So parted company on a better note.

As I was approaching a major intersection, I noticed that there was construction notices and traffic backed up. So I quickly turned onto a road that goes past a pond behind the Fine Arts Center. I noticed a girl with a camera pointing at the pond. Then I saw a majestic Blue Heron standing on something in the pond.

Heron in Colorado Springs

Even though I was going to arrive at my next stop later than I had told her I would be, I immediately pulled over and quietly walked down to the pond, camera in hand.

Heron on a pond in Colorado Springs

When I left my house, I was a bit flustered. I felt it was imperative that I take my good camera, but didn’t take an extra battery, since I wasn’t thinking it had been used much recently. When I started taking photos, I saw that there was very little battery power left. Just like yesterday with my secondary camera. I just kept taking pictures as he poised so very beautifully for me.

Poising Heron in Colorado Springs

He turned a few times and stretched his neck out as if about to dive into the water, then retracted it and turned around to a new pose many times over. When the camera finally told me to switch batteries I headed back to the car, but turned back for one more look, but he was gone. I felt very grateful for the time he allowed me to watch and take his picture. This was certainly a special time for me to have made a right turn and was present enough to see him from the road and aware enough to stop and enjoy this bird that is rarely seen in our area.

There was one other bird that made this stop even more special and helped me get back into a better mind set. Two geese came out of the water where I was standing. Not so unusual, as people feed the geese at this park often. What was so heart-wrenching was one of these geese only had one leg and some of his feathers looked a big rough.

One Legged Goose in Colorado Springs

He struggled a bit getting out of the water on the rocks. Then took a moment to find his balance and hopped up on to the path where he found his balance and stood very tall.

If he can face the world with this type of challenge, I realized I could face the artist that was a thorn in my side this day and win my argument about not changing my display and remind her that there are more challenges to be resolved at the Gallery that were bigger issues if the Commonwheel was going to survive into its 41st year.

And as I was about to start my car, my phone rang with an artist with a special request relating to the Art Festival applications. It was an issue easily resolved and perfect timing to catch me when I wasn’t driving.

When I walked in my door at home with my first load of groceries the phone rang and it was a member potter with question about the Festival applications for members. Again, an easy thing to resolve. Then she started talking about the Jury/Display email and was rather upset by another part in it and the way it ended. She is a relatively new member and on my Festival committee, so it was hard to hear her disappointment in how people are acting right now. Her, and my wish, is that we could get through this next summer working together, leaving the gallery pretty much how it has always looked, some sprucing up, but nothing too major or expensive and without another Natural Disaster. Amen, to that! She agreed that my display did not need changing, and there were much bigger issues, like how members working in the gallery should treat and greet potential customers when the walk in the door.

We are both very positive people and all this negative energy focused at members who have made the Commonwheel successful for 40 years is a bit wearing. But neither of us are ready to quit. She did mention she wondered sometimes how I had survived this long if times like this had happened before.

My Tony Laidig webinar was interesting, but nothing really new. But he had a message back to me that he might be traveling to this area in the near future. That would be really fun to actually meet him in person. And I still have 4 coaching calls that got detoured when the flooding happened in 2014 and all my web sites were hacked, distracting me from all my internet marketing and books.

After that I called my cottage tenant who wanted to share the cottage with an unrelated girl. First he told me that that was not going to happen. Then he told me he might have a better job opportunity up North and would it be OK for his sister to take over the lease. She has a month to month lease on Cañon Ave. that is directly in the flood zone. So we arranged for her to meet me or me to meet her tomorrow evening. That would certainly be an easier solution for a new tenant than him breaking the lease and my needing to find someone to move into the cottage at this unexpected time.

And my hiking partner called to see what adventure we wanted to take in Nature tomorrow. I really wasn’t up for a long drive to the Hot Springs, so we settled upon hiking an easy trail in the Garden of the Gods.

My knee is feeling much better. The magnets and hot and cold therapy seem to be working. Still need to get more stretching done. There just isn’t enough hours in the day for all I need to do to take proper care of myself.

Then finally the person who coordinates the entertainment called. She hasn’t done anything for talking to KRCC as being a sponsor again this year and wasn’t going to do that until after June 6th. Too late for some of my ad deadlines. So she will try to meet him next week or set it up for me to meet with him.

She did have a line on a new person to do the sound at the Art Festival since the person who has done it for years retired. That was good news.

And once again, I have journaled way into to the night . . .

Mask Dispay At Commonwheel Artists Co-op


Mother Nature’s Snow on Mother’s Day in Colorado

Last year we had a snowstorm on May Day.

This year it was a bit later on Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day Snow in Manitou Springs

The day started out grey and then some big fat flakes began to fall. As the day wore on everything was covered in a wet blanket of snow. Sort of throwing a “wet blanket” on many people’s Mother’s Day plans.

Mother Nature‘s way of telling us something is changing and we might want to pay attention.

And this spell of cold weather after a 60 degree Saturday isn’t helping my funky mood get lifted. But my knew is feeling better. Using hot and cold therapy a bit. I have an older knee support that I am putting cold packs under to hold them in place. Though the first one gave me a shocking vision when I took it off. The ink had come of onto my leg. Luckily using a bit of Young Living Lemon Essential Oil and a dry paper towel, I was able to clean it off. Didn’t need any more toxins in my system!

A few days ago I had a “happy ending” to a scary incident. I had gone of to a meeting and taken photos on the way there and back of flowers and other interesting things. (Some were in the recent posts.) When I returned home, my keys were not attached to my purse. I had my home, shop and PO box keys on a carabiner and it wasn’t there. Panic set in for a moment. I called upon St. Anthony with my favorite prayer.

St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around.
Something is Lost that needs to be found.

And repeated it a few times.

I decided even though it was cold and getting dark, I would retrace my steps to a few places I had leaned down to take photos in case I had some how unfastened it when getting up and down.

As I walked out onto the bridge, seen above, I saw my keys in a very obvious and well lit place. Sort of like when someone found a ring I lost last year. I profusely expressed my gratitude by thanking all of my guardian angels, St. Anthony in particular, for helping me find these very important keys. I really didn’t need another stressful situation in my life right now.

And it seems this carabiner that has served me so well is getting a bit finicky about closing properly, so I need to be very aware and careful when snapping it on and off the purse strap until I can replace it.

Now back to the snowy days.

Mother's Day Snowy Incline in Manitou Springs

On Mother’s Day I decided that I needed to clean up some spaces in my home. I have not had time off like normal in the winter and after the Art Festival closes, so my house is a bit chaotic in many areas. I started in my bedroom and that felt really good. Moved things around, put things away, got some items that will travel with me in June into the travel bags and off the dresser. A few days ago I had cleared up my dresser with my jewelry and many other things that had landed on it. I cam open the jewelry cabinet without moving things every time I want to get into it. And I found the other foot exorcize balls I want to have for stretching my toes in the morning.

Next I tackled the heap of newspapers on a chair in the living room. I sorted the articles into six categories to be dealt with later. Health & Hemp, Cooking & Recipes, Environment, Trails & Travel, Manitou & Art, and business (ebooks & more). This way the chair will soon be usable again and I can do a second sorting and cutting out of articles one section at a time instead of it seeming so overwhelming a task to get them all into exact files.

I want to use articles that are not all on the web to inspire writing on some of my blogs and have ideas of what information to search and gather to write books about in the near future. And any article I want to save MUST get cut out and go into its proper file space in the file boxes I have set up just for that purpose.

After Dinner I pulled out the coffee pot that I had used when my parents visited and cleaned it up for the Festival jury later this month. Looking at the stove top, I just couldn’t let it go one more day without cleaning it. Then the counters around it and above the fan all needed attention also. So there I was scrubbing away. My third cleaning task in one day. All in all, made some progress in getting my house looking more like a home and less chaotic and dirty. But it did make me want to take a few more days and work on some other areas . . .

Yes, I really will get back into writing! This I pledge to you, myself and my Coach will happen in the very near future. And I will get back into my feather studio to make earrings and hair clips sometime this week. This funky attitude and my getting easily distracted, as I did again today MUST end soon. Say upon my awakening in the morning . . .

First I got distracted by writing a letter to the editor about the comics that were deleted and the replacement ones. I really wonder about the intelligence of people some days. “Hagar the Horrible”, “Beetle Bailey”, “B.C.” and  reruns of “Peanuts” beat out “Stone Soup“, “Lio” and “Get Fuzzy”. And when the public didn’t like any fourth replacement, instead of keeping “Stone Soup” that was really close to being chosen to stay, they are putting in “Rhymes With Orange” which along with the other replacement comics is basically a pun or inane visual joke. I can’t help to wonder how many times can a Viking get stuck on an island, then suddenly be back in his normal routine of being a fat, lazy, stay out late at home husband or pillaging and plundering until the public cries “Foul”?

Luckily I take 2 newspapers and the Denver Post also carries “Stone Soup” and “Get Fuzzy”, so will just be missing “Lio” for my daily comic relief. And yes, I know I could find him on the web, but that would just be one more distraction and I read the papers while eating my meals, so would have to make a special effort and time to check him out. Although when I tried to get a link to the strip for this post, it wasn’t as easy as some of the other comics to find a place to read it online. When I did find him, it was one I would have cut out. “Dealing With Invasive Plants” struck a cord as I have Bouncing-Bet all around my garden and back yard that needs to be removed. A very invasive plant indeed.

Next I got distracted with writing blog posts for the Commonwheel Facebook when I saw that it was Small Business week. I actually used some of the photos I took on Monday, and took a few more today to complete them. I am using some Guerrilla Marketing ideas about getting people’s interest by images and not just sales pitches. Have done that somewhat before, but trying to stretch myself even more. Will see what the members who actually check our FaceBook page have to say about this as they pop up the next few days.

Mother's Day Snowman in Manitou Springs

Above is an image that cheered me up on my way back from a meeting today and I used in one of the Commonwheel posts.

Now how often do you see a snowman on green grass? Since the Commonwheel Artists Co-op gallery show that is opening on Friday is called “Demented” I used the idea of a demented artist creating this on a snowy Mother’s Day. And he must go on my personal FaceBook page also. Just too fun to not post. And the creator was outside and asked me how I liked him. I said I loved him, way fun, thanks!

Along my short town “hike” to City Hall, the bank and a meeting at MAC, then back to Commonwheel and the Post Office, I saw many flower survivors. Some doing better than others.

Flower Survivors after a Snowy Mother's Day

The snow-capped Jonquil was one I took a picture of just the other sunny day. And the other lying on the ground seems to be asking for help, or maybe he is just resting.

There was some absolutely gorgeous lilacs that were covered in snow and others that were totally clear.

Mother's Day Snowy Lilacs in Manitou Springs

I would have taken more pictures, but the batteries were dieing and if I had spent more time on the Lilacs, I wouldn’t have had enough power for the snowman . . . not that I knew he was awaiting me. But some instinct told me to save the batteries for later. Just as when I was getting ready to leave I grabbed this secondary camera that I keep hanging on a nail by the door to remind me to never leave home without some camera.

More Commonwheel business awaited me when I opened my emails. Got very frustrated with the Festival email account. I kept saying it couldn’t send emails, even if I had just sent or received one. If I closed the account and re-opened it, off the went. Then it totally refused to send one as a reply to our Board members with a message saying that too many unwanted emails were sent from some long address. I emailed our tech person, but not sure if she won’t just say it is all my problem

And then there is the Landlord challenge. The young man I had chosen as a cottage tenant wants to have a roommate. One of the reasons he was high on my list was that he was single and only had one vehicle. His roommate of choice is a female with a boyfriend and a very large vehicle and was thinking of getting a dog with her boyfriend. She and the boyfriend seem very nice. She hadn’t seen the lease. I am wondering how this will work with only one room with a door for bedroom privacy in the cottage and another vehicle in the driveway . . . so I told her I needed a night to think it over. At City Hall I got two resident guest parking passes and I am going to tell both tenants they need to get them also, so in case there is no place to park in the driveway, they can park on the street without fear of getting ticketed.

Just before it got too dark, I took a walk back out to my garden to take photos of the poppies covered in snow. And to clear my head from all the funky and distracting energies going on to try and gain a bit of perspective.

Poppies Green & under a blanket of snow

Just two days ago they were looking so healthy and about to bloom, now covered in snow. But I know they will survive and bloom in profusion to the delight of passersby and myself. They have been putting on an awesome colorful show for many years. The one highlight of my garden that has never failed to please since they took over this raised bed.