Sunday, July 6, 2008

Catching up - again

Whew! What a month June was! It felt like I was away more than I was home - probably because I was.

For ten days of the last month, I was living out of a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio. I was there attending the National Quilting Association Annual Quilt Show and Convention. Even though the Show was only a three day event, I had to be there days ahead of time for the judging. As a Candidate to become an NQA Certified Judge I am required to assist at the judging of the Annual Show at least twice during the five year process. I must assist at least once before I can even submit my paperwork so I was anxious to get this first experience under my belt. It was all I hoped for and more. The certification program has a lot of candidates right now so there was no lack of helpers in the judging rooms. The judges were excellent and I learned more than I ever thought possible from observing their actions and words for the three full days of judging show entries. What I didn't expect from the experience was that I met a lot people with the same interests as me and made some new friends.

After the judging was complete I had a day off before the official opening of the Show and its classes. I spent the morning visiting nearby galleries with another Candidate from New Hampshire and then I helped out with last minute Show details in the afternoon.

The next two days were spent in the Quilt Judging Seminar taught by Klaudeen Hansen and Anita Shackelford. It was especially helpful taking this two day class after having spent three days in the judging room. Klaudeen and Anita are excellent instructors and I am amazed at how much they packed into 16 hours of instruction.

I had few chances to get out and actually take in the Show, but when I did, it was a real treat to see my two entries hanging amidst the more than four hundred quilts in the Show. I was actually represented by a third quilt, "Island 2" which was there as part of the special exhibit from "Sacred Threads". This was my first chance to see some of the quilts from that exhibit up close and the experience was every bit as powerful as I expected. "Sacred Threads" is the brainchild of Vikki Pignatelli and I was scheduled to take a full day class from her on my last day at the Show. It was wonderful! I would recommend her as a teacher to anyone. She is generous with her knowledge and accomplished at her art and I am so glad I finally got to meet her and take her class.

Since arriving home I have been trying desperately to get caught up with everything. It has been a struggle with one thing after another demanding time and attention. While I was gone I missed two search and rescue calls. The first was for a horse wreck in the back country. The guy was pretty busted up with broken ribs, flail chest and a punctured lung. Ken was out until 2am Columbus time helping out. I know because I called every half hour until he got home. He has always told me the hardest thing for him when he travels is when I am out on a call and he imagines all sorts of things going wrong. I have always accused him of over-reacting but now I know exactly how he feels! The second call was for a guy that fell off his raft in the river and went out of sight of his friends. He was found safe and sound a few hours later. Shortly after I got home we had another call. This one was for a car in the river near Powell. We had to send a couple guys into the river to check the vehicle for bodies before we could call in a wrecker to haul it out. Ken and Chris and I were stationed along the bank with throw bags in case the two guys in the boat needed help. The rivers are at an all time high right now and currents are unpredictable. It turned out the car was empty and it showed up as stolen from a ranch several days earlier.
It has been hot since I got back. The flower garden is in full bloom, including the volunteer yucca that we have allowed to flourish. I was out watering yesterday when I heard the tell-tale noise of a tiny visitor. I looked around to see this little hummer making the most of the honeysuckle blooms. I don't know how they do it - every year we have a couple of the little creatures hanging around for much of the summer even though there seems to be very little for them to eat in this desert environment.
I have a few more days home before I head out again. I will try to be a little more regular about posting this summer, even though I would rather be outside than sitting in front of a computer!

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