Did I say I before that I don't get sick that often? Well, when I do, it likes to hang around a good long time as revenge I suppose. I have had this sore throat and stuffy ears going on three weeks now. It seems to come and go; one day it'll fade and feel like it's going away, then I'll take a nap and wake up hardly able to swallow. It shifts from side to side, too, so I don't think this is post nasal drip. One of my co-workers got a similar run-around from her doctors - "Oh, you have a sore throat..." until she made them give her a test for strep, which, of course, came back positive. Then they told her, well, the drugs don't do much good unless you get them within the first couple of days, so you just have to suffer though. One of our sci-aides had tonsillitis about a month ago, but I don't think my symptoms have been that bad. So is it even worth going back? Blech.
A busy weekend despite it. I left early Friday so I could help set up for our flower show at the senior center, and borrowed Pete and Ian's abalone shell display and a scientific poster on using reserves to conserve abalone populations, plus a rockfish poster and various other literature from work for an educational display. We got all the tables arranged, I set up the Department table, and we got the tables covered with paper. We included a section for children's arrangements this year, which the kids were kind of excited about, so after I got home, the kids and I went shopping for flowers and some notecard paper for the computer (I didn't have any plants for the plant sale, so my contribution was putting some of my fish pictures on notecards; I made four sets and and an assortment of individuals). We checked out the garden center at OSH to see if they had any cut flowers; they didn't, but I found a pretty blooming echevarria (hens and chickens), and a funny little sculpture of a frog with a sign ("Free Weeds - You Pick 'Em!) to put on the registration table. We found several bouquets on sale at the grocery store in the same center, but I still spent $40 just on flowers (eek!). Not even any roses!
The kids elected to be gotten up early to do their arrangements, so after I printed my cards we went to bed.
Saturday was show day. I got up at 5:00 and as soon as it was light, looked around my yard to see if there was anything I could enter - I had an idea but who knows if the plant will be cooperating the day of the show? Luckily, the freesias were opening, the hawthorne hedge still has a ton of blooming branches, some sweet alyssum, and there were exactly three violet blooms. The Siam Queen basil, which I thought was an annual when I planted it, is now a three year old bush with a radius of four feet, and after hunting around among all the spent blooms I found a branch in decent shape. Popped them into their green bottles, and threw some of the cut flowers into my fish mug and a teapot for my two arrangements. Guh. Design is not my strong point. Then I went to get the kids up to do theirs. Angus and Avalon got up, but Gareth stumbled out to the dining room, glared at me for moment, then turned around and went back to bed. I had had John get the box of my grandmother's vases out of the garage. Avalon picked one, and Angus decided to do two (he figured he would do one for Gareth, I guess). I trimmed stems and let them put them in the vases.
I spent the morning putting everyone's entries into the computer, during which several people asked me, "What's the purpose of doing that?" Well, so we know who entered what and how many were in each category, and we have an idea what kind of space we need next year. Or that's the idea, anyway. It's always a scramble getting everyone's entries in the right place so everything is in the right category before the judges come. I barely had a chance to get my stuff out there after I was done typing in everyone else's. Funny, it's always a problem getting people to commit to doing arrangements for certain categories, because if there aren't three entries in it, it can't be judged as a category. For one category, only three people had committed, but there wound up being 14 entries(!), necessitating a bunch of last minute rearranging. I did a place setting (on a tray) and an arrangement in a mug, and I wound up putting it in the wrong place. Since it was a "cup" I put it with the tea cup arrangements, but I forgot there was a size limit of 8" all the way around, and it was way bigger than that.
We had a short break while the judges were doing their stuff, so I went home and got the kids ready to go - John had to do something at Jerry's so they had to come with me. Meanwhile, Beth called and I had a chat with her, and when I was done I looked at the clock and realized "ack, we're late - and I have to bring the music!" Turned out the judges had just left, so we weren't too bad. Heh, I slipped music from Crowded House, Wolf's Rain
soundtracks, and Stan Rogers into the mix, as well as Brent Spiner singing show tunes (Old Yellow Eyes Is Back
) and any other mellow stuff I could lay my hands on. All the elderly ladies seemed to think it was ok.
One of the other members had entered some arrangements for her grandchildren and neighbor children. It turned out Avalon's got first place in the children's section; someone told me the judges had gone on and on how the colors perfectly matched the container and there was a nice height variation, etc. One of Angus's got an honorable mention, and the other, it turned out the vase leaked - there was a big puddle on the paper towel all around it. Gareth got upset that he had not done one; he claimed I had not woken him up, and had no memory of even getting out of bed, so Angus told him he had made one for him - it mollified him a little.
I got a second place for my tray arrangement (although there were only three anyway); my dad just gave me a bosun's pipe out of the blue a month or so ago, that I wanted to include, but the kids misplaced it. The judges liked my other arrangement, too, with the colors and container fitting the theme, but I'd put it in the wrong category so they couldn't award it anything. The sweet alyssum and the freesias didn't win anything (didn't expect them to), but I got blue ribbons for the hawthorne and the basil, so that was nice. The violets did also, but I think only because their competion was not in a regulation green bottle (btw, Jaegermeister is about the only thing that comes in tiny green glass
bottles any more, that we've been able to find - everything else in in plastic). They also liked the Marine Resource management display I'd set up, and gave it a special education ribbon.
The kids stayed with me for a couple of hours, although of course the boys were fairly bored after they'd seen everything they were interested in. We had a bit to eat from the refreshments (and a six foot sandwich someone donated), then Gareth played games on my phone. Angus was tired, and somehow managed to fold his lanky body up in a ball on one of the uncomfortable chairs and fell asleep; I don't know how he even managed it and it can't have been too comfortable. Avalon was in her element - talking to everyone who'd pause for a moment to listen to her. Once I heard a small voice singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" over the room's speakers and turned to find someone had turned on the microphone on the small stage at one side of the room; she was all ready to try out for American Idol.
I didn't get to take pictures of everything in detail like I did at the last flower show - I was keeping track of the kids until John got there, and what pictures I did take, I seem to have had the macro setting on half the time, so many of my regular pics are slightly blurry. Grrr. I'll have to ask Carole about her pictures. I was making my way around the room, thinking I still had an hour, when suddenly Linda announced "Well, I guess we'd better start taking everything apart..." It was only three o'clock, but they figured the traffic had slowed down enough that we should start putting everything away. By the time, I got to the specimens, half of them were gone. I'd told John not to come back until 4:00, and when I called home, Dad had gone to the pharmacy. We've only got the one car working right now so I was going to have wait until he got back. Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long - a good thing since we had the whole show completely torn down by fifteen minutes after the show was supposed to have ended. Carole would have offered me a ride, but her minivan was jam-packed full - she must do half the arrangements in the show, and a good portion of the specimens.
Went home and collapsed. I do think these things are fun, but they're a bit stressfull. Most of us get very little sleep the night before. As Natalie (our now president) said to me, "I hate
doing these things. If Carole weren't the flower show chairman anymore, it wouldn't happen at all."