I am so thankful for a wonderful, healthy year – it’s great to have this time with Dad. This year we enjoyed many visits from friends, relatives and neighbors and took weekly ‘field trips’ to town for lunch out, shopping or a drive in the mountains; we even had an overnight trip to Reno.
After Mom passed last year, Dad and I agreed we had to “down-size”. First I closed my office space and sold the extra Chicago furniture. Neighbor Margie helped us with Mom’s clothes while friend Kathleen and I packed up all of Mom’s dolls and sewing materials. Then, thanks to Craig’s List, consignment stores and a couple of yard sales (with help from nephew Evan) we squeezed the rest into the garage and a storage unit.
I also consolidated Mom’s antique buttons into 15+ file-boxes. We connected with Gil, my BBF, who appraised the collection and got me set up in a show. That went well, so I took weekend trips to button conventions in San Diego (with Bay Area bestie Joel) and Reno. Because button folk are great and the shows fun, I decided to invest in another collection to continue this new mini-business. (www.ButtonBettye.com)
Hearing about and seeing Mom’s buttons inspired my writing group. We are publishing an anthology of button themed stories and poems in March that will include two short stories of mine. The book will be dedicated to Mom, the original “Button Bettye”.
The aforementioned doll collection made its way to Pleasanton last month for a big Doll and Teddy Bear show. The doll hobby is declining – but, with Evan’s sensational table displays, we made some sales. Still, Joel helped me pack most of the dolls back to the storage unit.
While buttons and dolls were the main events, I visited two lace museums, attended a pottery/glassware show and a jewelry exhibition to research ideas of how to best approach the remaining collections next year. I cancelled the trip to the North Pole when I placed the Santa Claus collection at a local consignment store.
In case you were wondering – I do try to get some work done, too. I still support a few of my web clients from SynNet and Etchasoft days, and this year I landed a local client for an online store project (that included some product photography work). (www.NovaLynx.com) I also built a few sites for NFP groups I am involved with, including my church. (www.NewFaithUCC.org)
One of those groups is the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir where, besides singing in the full choir and its new a cappella group, I volunteer as president of the board and do poster graphics. (www.GVMaleVoiceChor.org)
With so much spare time, I produced two area-wide choral events for the Sacramento Valley Choral Coalition: an eclectic sing-a-long “Messiah 2.0” and my 2nd SacSings! Choral Festival. (www.SVChoralCoalition.org)
Music is truly the food of my soul! I’m excited to finish the year preparing for our Christmas concerts. My hope is you will also “Ring In Christmas” and the New Year with songs of joy and peace!