Friday, October 15, 2010

The Great Leap Forward

Not a reference to the impending time change (when is that anyway?); more a reference to my first venture into the world of professional gymnastics judging. This weekend I am off to Kent Sate University to volunteer at Judge's Cup. Of course this brings me a mix of excitement and anxiety. I have what could best be described as a love/hate relationship with travel. I dream of traveling all over the world, be it for gymnastics, to return to my ancestral homelands of Ireland and Italy, or to visit my numerous pen-pals and e-pals. Then comes the overwhelming anxiety of leaving my beloved animals behind. Joe is so good at taking care of them, but those two little cats can be unpredictable. Roy and Carmella have been with us nearly two years. Both are quite independent in their own way. Roy's latest escapade is to run across the street to the big barn. He spends hours over there, so it's not like he's playing in the street. It's just that nerve wracking few seconds and the random speeding cars that freak me out. Carmella has been known to travel pretty far too. Spotted her down near the neighbor's house at 9pm on my way home from the gym last Tuesday night. This constant worry really takes all the joy out of traveling. Yes, I am a very over-protective pet owner.
Anyway, my massive baking adventure is nearly complete. Judge's Cup is a 100% volunteer-run competition so all the food is brought in by the judges. I read over the list of usual suspects....hotdog/hamburger buns, bottles of soda, granola bars, plates, napkins, etc. Then I saw it, my speciality, BAKED GOODS. I am sure they meant something picked up at the local grocery store, but instead they are getting these: 64 Pumpkin Spice Mini Cupcakes. They now have orange-colored creamcheese frosting and a little candy corner atop each one. Also 5 dozen M&M cookies with the appropriate Fall colored M&Ms. It's been more and more difficult each season to find those "speciality" M&Ms. I find a lot of empty boxes on the shelves where they used to be. So in my usual style of over-compensation I bought three bags.
As if Judge's Cup isn't enough gymnastics for one weekend, October 16th also marks the start of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Rotterdam Holland. I've been following the trainings on-line and have found some excellent photos here: Bridgid is a wonderful photographer and her sense of humor adds such a flair to an overly serious sport.
I wonder if there will be any time to work in a little knitting or cross-stitch this weekend? Probably not since I'm driving the carpool to Kent State...well, there's always next weekend.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Candy Corn Crazy!

I love the look of Candy Corn. Those lovely colors, that cute triangular shape. Can't stand the taste of those little buggers though. This one I made for Coal has catnip infused with the cotton stuffing, so the taste seems to meet with his approval.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Season of Renewal

Most people think of Spring as the Season of Renewal; for me it is Autumn. Not only is it my favorite time of year, this year it had brought to me some positive change. The changing of the leaves and plants, the changing of the weather and at last a change in my financial and employment situation. After an exhaustive and stressful 11 month search I have finally found a new job. I started last week at a brand-new gym Perfection Gymnastics. Though I am relieved to have this job and some sense of security, it is not the familiar "comfort zone" of the old gym. I have never been one to adjust easily to change and I am finding it very difficult to go to work each day and not see my group of good friends or the gymnasts I have worked with for years and years. I am trying to adjust and be more open to the new situation. It helps that the gymnasts and their families are very friendly. Here I am with my new friend Faith! I am settling in to my new schedule which is totally opposite to my previous one. I've had to adapt my "time management skills" a bit, but I have found time for some crafting and stitching. Here is the latest tombstone: "Carolina Handley" by Carriage House Samplings. Once again dear Joe outdid himself in the construction of the wooden tombstone. WalMart came through again with it's selection of "faux stone" spray paint and the little wooden accents are from Hobby Lobby.
My other new friend, Lowell (aka Blacky) is getting bigger and quite a bit bolder. It's very easy to pet him now. He comes running up as soon as you call him....the neighbors have changed his name to Blacky, but I still prefer Lowell.

The expression "One Day At A Time" has become my new phrase to live by. Sometimes when I look at the overall situation I get overwhelmed and a bit sad. If I take each day as it comes then I can savor the sweet time spent at home with my animals and stitching and still enjoy my work in the sport that I love.