My kids are performing in a circus show, taught by REAL clowns from a circus on the same night as our biggest AWC meeting of the year, which includes a Year-in-Review presentation (PowerPoint) that I am puttng together, and the board elections. It's my last meeting as a board member and as Editor, which position I've held for 7 years, and I can't go. Before that meeting, even though I am not attending, I have to collect the pages from the webteam for the newsletter/website update, finish them, put them together, proofread them and upload them myself since our webwoman is traveling. Then I have to do the print version and mail it out. Then I have to do the calendar and the program for the meeting and print 30 copies of each. Then I have to create and print ballots for the elections. I have to burn the the PPT onto a CD and get it to whomever is going to get a laptop and projector for the meeting to show it on, as well as getting all these copies to someone who will be attending the meeting. I have receipts to solicit, collect and turn in for the conference this weekend from 4 people. Notice that I am not talking about the laundry, housecleaning, gardening and any other errands that might need to be done in the week I have left before the meeting. And I COULD have asked the teachers to make sure the kids were performing on the night AFTER the meeting, but I trusted to fate like a complete fool and kept forgetting to do it, and of course, they ended up on the 1 night I really, really needed to be free. *smacks self in forehead* I am really REALLY hopeful that after I step down, my life will be a LITTLE less AWC-intense.
Still with me?... Hello?
I like driving. And I like driving fast. But I'm not as used to driving as I used to be in the States, when driving 6.5 hours from Chicago up to Port Huron, Michigan on a Friday after work to spend the weekend with my parents was par for the course. Gas is so prohibitively expensive here (although it's going back down from its highway-robber-high) that driving long distances is not usually the first choice. However, when we were checking out transportation options for the AWC Regional weekend in Oslo, it turned out that even with gas as expensive as it was, it was STILL cheaper for us to drive than plane, boat, or train it up.
Everyone in Norway, or at least everyone in Oslo, seems to be jaw-droppingly wealthy. I was in 4 homes of different AWC members and they were all palatial homes full of beautiful, expensive furnishings and amazing space and architecture. This was the 6th AWC Regional I've attended, and even though I have to say ours last year was still the best (Go Malmö!), every one has been well-planned, full of good food, great speakers, fun sightseeng, interesting conversations, laughter, gabbing, and late nights and this was no exception. After this long, I know and am friends with several people from all of the Scandinavian clubs, and even though we only see each other at these Regionals, and perhaps 1 or 2 other events during the year, they are always a delight to see and catch up with. I got to meet my newest LJ friend, kachunknorge, who turned out to be insanely cute and talented...she organized the B&B accommodations for all of us out-of-towners with Oslo club members, helped with the food all weekend, sang in the Oslo club's presentation, AND played the piano while people were mingling before dinner on Saturday night.
The theme of this particular mini-conference was "Creative Women" and the 4 guest speakers were very interesting: a woman who has made a business out of her handmade paper passion, a color and light stimulation therapist, a young dancer who now runs her grandmother's ballet school, and a painter, whose lovely patterned paintings were giving me covetous fits. At the Saturday night dinner, each of the attending clubs had to give a "creative" presentation as well, introducing themselves, and if I do say so myself, we did a GREAT job! We kept our idea secret until it was our turn, and the 4 of us got onstage with a whiteboard and big smiles. shazzerlive was the perfect MC, and called up 5 volunteers from the audience first, then explaining that we had chosen 5 words that described our club and the volunteers were going to have to draw them Pictionary-style on the white board for the other 70-odd members of the audience to guess, after which we would tell them why we had chosen those particular words. It was a smash success, and the best part was after our last word, which led up to us announcing that dessert was on us, and Debbie and Neitha marching in with American-flag-decorated chocolate cakes! :D
During the day on Saturday, in the afternoon, we spent a few hours in the beautiful sunshine walking around Vigeland Sculpture Park. We went there with my family 20+ years ago, and while I sort of vaguely remembered it (I was a teenager), I was surprised at how much I DIDN'T remember when we walked in through the gates and up the park to where the sculptures began. I'll be posting photos, probably tomorrow night, so stay tuned. It's definitely worth a visit, especially in the sunshine, if you ever get a chance to visit Oslo.
The only bummer about being on the go so intensely all weekend, and indeed, all MONTH, is having no real chance for relaxation. I can't wait for a chance to catch my breath...maybe in January...
I love the internet
When I got home, after the 7-hour drive, I was tired and a little stressed thinking about the upcoming week, and the kids were already in bed so I couldn't sit and cuddle with them. I sat and talked to Anders for a little bit, and then I unpacked and put things away and just before I got ready for bed, I opened the pile of mail that was waiting for me from Friday. I am awed over and over by the kindness, generosity and just plain wonderfulness of the people I have met online, and you all nearly made me break down and cry. In the mail, on ONE day, I received a little tissue-pack case that I ordered from reebert with a kind note, a DVD copy of The Corporation sent to me by the darling Bluepoppy, the CD full of Martin-and-Karin photos (more photos to post! whee!) from dear Tracey (we waved when we drove past the Tjörn exit!), and a painting that I am SO thrilled with, that I admired when she posted it, and was FLOORED when she told me she was sending it to me, along with a lovely letter and the most darling picture of herself and her big-eyed, beautiful baby, from another kindred spirit...thank you, c_rosalie! I am so, so very blessed in my friendships. No wonder I'm so happy all the time!
Hippity Happity Hoppity Birthday Wishes to elemmennope!