Sunday, September 28, 2008

Campaign - Day 10

Wow - it's happening and it makes me feel great. Received the mail and we are now at over $8300! I'm not at my desk so I don't have the exact numbers. This Tuesday should be a big mail day and the last of September. I hope we break the $10K mark; just shy of the half-way mark.

This week I have made one possible headway in that the information about the number of renewing members will be appearing on the Events roll on the front page of the website of the Library. I do hope that it happens. Making the buzz is important so that we make our goals.

Now you may ask, the goal. Goal is budget for now. While it may seem like it is based on past experience, I actually do a calculation to based on past "new members added", retention, and rejoin members. Then round down. The membership revenue and booksale revenue drive the spending of the organization, so we err on the conservative side. When there is more revenue than expenses, then we perform another calculation for the special gifts.

This year with some help, like creating the buzz, we may be able to reach my goal nearing the $28K mark. Last year was just under $26K.

Upcoming month, send out 2nd reminders to members; National Friends Week; and Staff contest. Begin a mailing to prospetive members. All is in the works, so not much to do! Just in time so I can go to St. Louis without fretting too much about the Friends.

Open House Day

Yesterday I went over to the old unit, buried St. Joseph in the back yard, wiped up the dust, brushed the leaves off the patio, made sure the air matresses were fully inflated, freebreezed the place, said several prayers to St. Joseph, took out the plants up front and went away with my fingers crossed.

Today there was a open house - nothing happened that I have heard about so far. I expect that if there was any really good news I would have had a phone call my now. More later..

It's Sunday.... are you sure?

Have you ever wondered what day it is? Lately all my days have been running into each other, one doesn't seem to look any different than the next. While have a newspaper delivered, can check the date then, look at the date on my computer, it seems I'm missing a day.

For those of you that are saying... ahhh it's the aging process. I'll disagree simply in that I think all of our plates a too full. I've been pushing to keep the desk clear, clear up work, clear up left-over scanning /shredding/ sorting (thanks Paulette), get the other items done. Yet it is all connected. I can laugh right now - one item is connected to another, that is connected to some more and by the end of the day.... oh my goodness.... what was done? what has yet to be done? somehow, how did I end up with more undone by the end of the day.

I don't have a soluntion - its just one of those quirks in life. and .... Life is Good! Tomorrow is another day, today was good.

Friday, September 26, 2008

the New Place

It's happening.... another couple of construction projects completed! I needed some height for the 'craft' and 'scrapbook / photo album' stuff. I had a small bookcase that kinda worked at the old place yet wasn't sufficient in the new place. So to Lowe's again to get the matching picecs to the lower book case. Wow - they still had them, drawers and doors and the height thing, bought it. Now it's 84" high - putting it into the car was so funny. The carriage kept getting away from me. Getting it out of the car was even more funny! I struggled to get it into the garage and I took it apart in there and took the pieces to the it's designated spot. If there is a will there is a way - just think about it! several screw, shanks, dowels , and the book case is built and in place and is now serving it's purpose. (thanks Jules for holding the level!)

In checking the lighting, the lamps were out. So change the bulbs, only to have the screw part stay in the lamp and the bulb in your hand? Ouch, it won't come out! Paulette and I were up there trying to yank the dang thing out - no go. So the electrician's came again - and found out the the fixture was shot, so off to the store for another fixture for them to switch it out, put in another switch for convenience in the storage room, finally have the front door light working, and somehow the remote door bell still isn't working. One check of another lamp he found that the balast was leaking and about to possibly cause a fire - it was fixed also! So back to the door bell!

I want to say that the lower level is complete - maybe really close. A few more items to do in the filing / scanning / shredding area and move stuff around in storage - it does look good. stop back for some new pics soon!

the Old Unit

... not much on the real estate front. It's been quieter than a church mouse. This weekend is going to be an open house to hopefully russle up some foot traffic. Now mom sent me a statute of St. Joseph - I'm going to bury him in the back of the unit before the open house. Legend says he helps you sell or at least find you a buyer.

With the 'noise' going on with failing banks, brokerage, congress, economy, etc. geez louise, it is the best time to buy. (by the way is there an election coming up?) If you haven't taken care of your finances, shame, if you have sorta taken care of them, then look at buying at this time. You'll make out better paying a mortgage than a rent. I know all the reasons for both... but get this....

New home buyer may qualify for a new tax credit from the Uncle Sam that is like getting $7,500 interest free loan for the next 15yrs!

To find out if you qualify, then call me! and saying a prayer to St. Joseph wouldn't hurt either!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lace Guild

Yesterday was the 1st meeting of the fall for the New England Lace Guild (NELG). Our meetings are held monthly at the library in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

We have a business meeting, then a speaker/guest. This month's guest was from the Plimoth Plantation - yes this is the Plymouth you are thinking of. Travel back to the 1600's and visit how life was back then.

Our speaker, Jill Hall, came to show us some of the work our members have been working on the recreation of an embroidered jacket. The link will take you to the blog and you can see some pictures for a work in progress. Members from the guild have traveled up and stayed over night to be able to work on this jacket. The lace part is amazing, our own Carolyn as assisted so many hours to this projected. The lace is simple, yet the thread was not. A silk cord in gold with gold metallic on the outside. From what I understood, this thread was contracted though a supplier in England. One spool of this thread is $40 what with the Euro and the price of gold!

It was truly a privilege to get to see this work in progress. It is hoping that the jacket will be completed by September of next year! An original of this jacket, the inspiration, can be found at the V&A in London. See it here and from a painting of Margaret Laton, hence the name the Laton jacket.

Click above and visit Plimoth and the V&A!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 2 of the Campaign

We break $3700 - average for 118 = $31.89 -- We also have a Yahoo Group for Membership Committee - committee members should stop by and join up.

What a great thing - this may very well allow me to get some information out to all members in an easier and more convenient way. It's simple, can have a calendar, upload files, upload pictures and a host of other features besides a simple email.

On to bigger and better things!

The Campaign Begins

Last week was a meeting of the membership committee - I'm chair once again. In many ways the membership of the Friends is like my baby. When I first got involved - we had about 600 members. This past year - we ended the year, (for the second time) with just over 1,000 members. These members are amazing - we raised almost $26,000 in membership $$'s- again another record for the Friends.

So last week - we folded,stuff and mailed out some 959 member statements for members to renew. The return mail has started! The official first day of mail, we had 20 returns for a total of $711! great first day at an average of $35.55, I'm hoping for more days like that.

Now this is one activity in that the buck stops here. Any one with a complaint, compliment, comment goes to me. I personally get to talk with the member. I actually love it and have learned amazing ways of the Library / Friends past. Thank you notes are also wonderful few moments I get to spend with a member to tell them how much we appreciate their membership contribution. ........ yes ..... each one is hand written and hand addressed.

So the campaign is on --------- I would like to top the membership at 1100 and get our contribution level up 10% to about $29,000. This year I have some help, so we will see how it goes! LOL I get so fired up about being a Friend and getting more folks on board with being a member. .... remember we are going to build an addition to the Library soon and need lots of members.

If you would like to join the Friends - get out membership form and send it in.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You Must Dance!

Hi All - this one is a cute moment. Thanks to Debbie via Jules for the file. see below

So when have you danced lately? A rumba, waltz, a little cheek to cheek, or some wild rock & roll. In my humble opinion, dancing is great exercise and a great way to express ones self. I was brought up with dancing all about me. Up until a few years ago, my parents traveled all over the eastern seaboard to go country dancing. That's a picture of them at Natick in Massachusetts. They met so many great people though this activity and looked forward to seeing them at the various haunts - Round Hill, New Haven, West Hartford, just to name a few in CT.

Dancing goes back to when we must have decided that walking wasn't enough. Now you can watch the dance competitions on tv and cheer on your favorite.

So turn up your volumn and watch this little clip :)

The Cool Weather

It's been great up till the "storms" have gotten to New England. It's been cool, enough to get out a blanket, turn off the fan, and wow - a great nights sleep.

The cool weather also seems to rejunevate the spirit - summer is just about over, the Fall is coming, pumpkins, turning leaves, a first frost. County fairs are in full swing. The Big E just opened this past weekend. I'm looking to going up there to see who won the lace entries, find a few sheep, maybe even a giant pumpkin or two.

So come on up and take in one of the greatest fairs there is!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Annual meeting trustees - I'm sad

Most of you know how involved I've been with the Friends of the Library here. So involved that I received the 2008 Connecticut's Individual Achievement award for a Friend of a Library. It was truly very nice to get a nod at the State level of the work I have put in. Remember I didn't do it for the award but for the love of a great institution - our public library. But then there are those days and today was one of them.

At our place - the Friends are separate from the Trustees, at times, it seems the Friends don't even exist. The Friends are an amazing group of individuals - I always try to do them justice on how well they work to raise $$'s for the Library. I'm out pounding the soap box, sidewalks, bending anyone ear to talk about supporting our Library. Some times I feel I couldn't say Thank You enough - two little words - yet it just never seems enough.

Tonight was the annual meeting of the Library / Trustees. Now since the Friends are just about invisible, and I mean that I only noticed three of a twenty member board present at this meeting. That pisses me off - another day for that. Tonight was their "unveiling" of their Legacy Society plaque - a long awaited and overdue thank you. They 'honored' various people that have given the Library big $$'s in the past. It was interesting - you could belong to various clubs, assoc, circles, councils and what have you - it makes your head spin - and there are $$ amounts attached to them, those facts were missing. When it was done - not !- the one donor that didn't appear on their plaque was the Friends of the Library. I went back into my board books (retired from the board Feb 2008) and financials and added up what we spent on the Library - in the last eleven years - we, the Friends of the Library, through membership and book sales and assorted other events - put $411,000+ into the Library. That doesn't even count the tens of thousands of hours of labor contributed!

In the past year alone = over $60K was given to the Library to support materials, programs, and staff.

Now this plaque will be mounted in the foyer of the Library for all to see how these individuals have made a difference to the Library. Don't take me wrong, these folks were generous and remembered to give to the Library. But the Friends of the Library - some 1000 plus members - don't get the nod - don't get a spot on the plaque? It is truly a sad day for the Friends, and an even more sad day for the Library. They just don't get it :(

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Loving the Crown

It's been about 2-1/2 months - what do I like about my new place so far.

Laundry on the sleeping level. It's kinda cool, while I wind down, the clothes are getting cleaned and just about before the days over, it's done.

The garage - cool place. I know it is for the car, but I'm still doing construction and staging stuff and need the peg board installed so I can re-arrange the tools to be in a neat & orderly manner. I love the keyless door system and the light sensor. It's cool.

Space - it is nice not to be on-top of everything. It's nice that the office is a bit farther from the balance of my living space. 2nd bedroom, while I haven't done much since my niece came to stay, I can actually plan to have friends visit and they can stay overnight. It is easy to clean - just about everything has a place to be in.

Since I still have lots of my furniture at the old place (remember the staging part), I miss my couch to go to hang out on. Tonight I dined chinese at Jules's home - it was great after dinner we retired to her living area and we got to lie back on the couches. We were sharing stories and just laughing - pretzels. That's for another blog entry.

I'm still not sure why it all happened now. There were two showings this past week at the Woodsedge unit - though I have not heard any update yet. I am thinking this unit is truly a transisitional place. That is good to. Gotta run - need a little beauty sleep.

Is it over yet? Did the fat lady sing?

The DNC & RNC are now over. Everyone has their own slants on the buzz that has come out of each convention. I saw on the Yahoo news line that Ms. Sarah may be more popular than McCain and Obama - This is why America is so great. New and fresh is good and I guess she has turned more heads than anyone has expected. Of course the news outlets are having a field day and the comparisons are everywhere.

So this is what I think should happen - the DNC gets one full page in a newspaper and the RNC gets a full page in the same newspaper on the opposing page and get they their platforms stated. They have until 9/15 to get it done and published. The public gets about 2 weeks for questions, and then one debate and we vote by mid October. Save the bucks that is going to go into smear commercials for the next two months. In two months less one day (for those counting) we will have an answer.

I feel like we all should plug up our ears and sing - will it get this to a vote so we can all get to work?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lipstick is Great!

So last night I ran out - did my library run - got chinese and settled in to see the RNCs line up of speakers.

I was able to cheer a few more times during this episode of politics than in the DNCs mini series. I'm a smaller government person. If you see the mounds of paper I have to read each year of new taxes, new credits (that most don't get), changes to old taxes (generally increasing), new deductions, limiting deductions - okay you must get the picture by now.

Huckster (see my brother's blog ) , Rudy, and then the star of the show, Ms. Sarah. I was so pleasantly surprised, enjoyed the speech, her delivery was just like a "regular person" not too rehearsed sounding. The Party and viewing public was able to get a glimpse into the "real" Sarah and her family. Lord knows that if there is a slow news day, it will be time to look for dirt on any of her family members.

On an interview this a.m., Michael Reagan spoke about being the 'adopted' and not real son of the Reagans and how it affected him and his children. Can some one get a grip - will CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and every news outlet - can we focus on getting work done in Washington - getting work done in our states - getting our country back in order and working smartly into our future. The National Inquirer has four reporters in Alaska - hmmm sounds like too slow up there, or polar bears are not being abducted by aliens - so now that Gov. Sarah's on the VP trail, the Inquirer is sending four more reporters up there to dig in some snow drifts to see what they can find.

If you know anything about me - I dislike waste, I dislike filling up space and time with "noise" just because. Geez, lets get talking about what is real and the truth, lets get back to your business and make a buck or two. Maybe, just maybe, Ms. Sarah will bring out more, shirt sleeve types to work in public service for the people of our country. The next two and a half months should be interesting! Stay tuned.....

ps if you need a cable - call on for all your solutions!

pss - lipstick - did they say what color?

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Garden / The Balcony

So it's been 2-1/2 months since I moved into my new home and I noticed that I didn't have any pictures yet - so here's the front door. You can see my tomato plant, herb garden, and some flowers. Yes that's sun tea by the the front door.

When you stand on the front stoop, this is the little garden we have in front. The shrubs are taken care of by the Assoc - though the only thing they do is trim them in to little pom-poms. I added some mulch called chocolate and a few plants. Jules added some stone creatures to keep it all interesting. (really cute) There is a green plant up front that is "savannahs" plant. It has remained green throughout the summer and appears to like it's new home. I planted some maiden grass and it looks like it also feels at home in the front garden though I may need to move it next year as it is going to be too big where it is.

So what have I done while here - lots though it seems like it's not adding up - okay I'm laughing as it is coming along. It's just not done - and it would be nice just to be done and I can go about my business. Today I did get something completed, the right side of the living level balcony-and here it is. With some of my furniture still at the previous place - it's a bit tough to feel 'all moved in'. Today I made a mission to find a table to sit at with the chairs I purchased earlier. Bonus, also found a candle candelabra. Tonight was the first night I was able to sit at a table and have dinner and on the balcony. It was just lovely - quite relaxing.

The other side of the balcony has two of my plants - my christmas catcus that blooms in March or April - and Tom's orphaned plant. One of them will move up to the other balcony and I will need to find there 'winter' home soon. I set up my little fountain for now, bird feeder hasn't attracted birds yet -hmmmm (Jules said to hang out a sign). The chimes I had from the Amish fair in PA were just taken down for the 's' hook. Now some metal artwork and a better light, small serving table and the "outside living area" will feel the absolute best. I'm looking forward to tomorrow moring coffee on the balcony!
I'm looking at books and getting ideas for my retreat / bedroom area. I need to find a solution so that it can be completed before the 'season' begins. I really don't need any of the furniture used in staging so that will not impede the progress of this new focus.