Monday, September 27, 2010

Stress Happens

Such a marveous weekend! Crazy busy, but marvelous nonetheless. That's not to say there weren't glitches, but hey, all's well that ends well, right?

I've come to realize that stress happens no matter how well thought out or planned-to-the-hilt an event is. I co-directed the Florida Inspirational Writers Retreat at Cedarkirk in Lithia on Saturday, which was preceeded by a manuscript critique at a different location on Friday night.

The first big hiccup occurred when my co-director, Ruth, who was supposed to put up two of the three guest speakers, found out her husband had infectious pneumonia on Thursday. Since we couldn't afford hotel rooms for the speakers, we had to scramble for other accomodations. I ended up putting the husband and wife on my pull-out couch (how very elegant!) and the other in my daughter's guest room (thankfully she's my backyard neighbor).

Then I realized at the last minute that I had to throw something together for breakfast for everyone - hooray for simple quiche recipes! Add a little fruit and sweet rolls and voila! Gormet breakfast!

Then at the retreat, we had the usual forgotten-at-home speaker notes, unexpected equipment failure and awkward silent moments when speakers didn't realize it was their turn to take the podium. And there was the attendee who wouldn't pay and the other who arrived 1 1/2 hours late and ran her car smack into a tree in the parking lot.

Couldn't help but wonder what else was in her morning coffee besides beans.

But to my surprise, the retreat turned out quite well. Speakers spoke, attendees learned, several very talented writers strutted their stuff in a writing contest, and everyone left smiling. And I am soooo glad it's over. Now to start planning for next year!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Picky, Picky

For lack of table space, I laid out all the fixings for eight gift baskets on the floor of my office ... a cute little scarecrow for each, flavored tea bags, floral stationery, various writing supplies, and a ceramic fall mug filled with chocolate Kisses, Godiva gems, Baby Ruths, Nestle Crunches, Butterfingers, Dove dark chocolate-caramel nuggets, and Tootsie rolls.

Imagining how excited the drawing winners at my writing retreat were going to be when they received these gorgeous baskets, I assembled all the goodies into the elegant wicker baskets and was just beginning to wrap the first with clear cellophane shrink-wrap when I noticed the time.

Yikes! I'm late for church! Will have to finish when I come home. Without another thought, I rushed from the room and out to the car.

When I returned home, the first hint that something was amiss was a crumpled candy wrapper peeking out from beneath the couch. Where did that come from?

One glance at my miniature poodle, Fenway, skulking away with a candy bar sticking out of his mouth like a cigar gave me the answer.

"Fenway! You bad dog! Did you get into my gift baskets?"

Of course he had. The little choco-dickins. The funny part was that Fenway, who normally employs a feeding frenzy not unlike starving sharks, had carefully nosed his way through the bounty of ever-so-sweet options and ferreted out only the best. The Godiva and Dove bars were the only ones missing. A chip off the old block!

I guess if you have to love a thief, at least you can console yourself that he's a discriminating thief.

P.S. Whoever said chocolate kills dogs hasn't encountered the steel metabolism of my Fenway!