1. Gratitude is, in fact, the secret of life and all of the benevolent and vainglorious pursuits that make up a good one. At least in my experience. Trite or not, I highly recommend giving it a try.
2. What a fabulous week it's been! Of course, it's FestivALL week, which is my most favorite week of the year in my fair city. This year's schedule has been chock full of wonderful events, and I've managed to partake in a good many of them. 'West Virginia Squares' was a new addition this year. Featuring West Virginians with some modicum of "celebrity" - including 'Hollywood Squares' host Peter Marshall, reprising his role for this gig - it was great fun. The culinary arts were the highlight of a cook-off competition featuring locally grown produce. Three members of the New York City Ballet were the special guests at last night's Dance Gala (my favorite FestivALL offering year in, year out.) Tonight, Mr. Aaron Neville is performing at the Clay Center. The Blues, Brews & BBQs and Wine & All that Jazz events are still to come, as is the two-day street fair featuring local artists and craftsmen selling their wares, punctuated by the concurrent annual Kanawha County Library used book sale.
3. I have volunteered at several events, with two more shifts yet to come. This is my third year as a volunteer and I love it. Not only does it get you out there with all sorts of people, attending events you might otherwise have blown off, but it gives you a real sense of civic pride to listen to folks tell you over and over again how much they enjoy the week, they city, the people.
4. My own FestivALL event - The Longest Day : Art with Heart was a huge success! From Saturday's 16 hour day to Tuesday night's silent art auction, I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out. We sold EVERY SINGLE PIECE of art and netted just over $1700 for the fight against Alzheimer's. One of the best outcomes, though, was the outpouring of support for NEXT year's event! More artists came forward, the auction organizer decided he wanted 100% of the art in next year's to be sold to benefit the cause, and we grew general awareness of both the cause and the event. While I'm relieved this one is finally over and in the books, I'm already all a-tingle about planning for 2015!
5. So many thank you notes to write! :-)
6. The painting atop this post was my personal favorite and guess what? It came home with me, purchased by my lovely husband. It's beauteous. It's called 'Treasures of the Heart' and it was created by Stephen Cassle, an excessively talented artist and perfectly lovely gentleman.
7. Because being idle is an unnatural state for me - awkward and uncomfortable - I have moved on to planning our family's July 4th weekend-long celebration. I've decided we will do a Low Country boil on the actual day, which means getting a picnic table for the backyard is no longer just a wish list thing, but a search and conquer thing. Because, I mean. You can't have a Low Country boil without a picnic table covered in newspaper, right?
8. In re: the picnic table, see also: THIS YES PLEASE.
9. I'm also considering signing on with the campaign committee for the library levy. Considering. Meaning, probably already 90% committed in my heart, just need my head to tell me I'm not crazy. Which it won't. Because my head *is* nuts, and likes to lure the rest of me down it's whacky path whenever possible. So yeah. I'm signing on with the campaign committee for the library levy.
10. After the debacles of 2013, we need to get this right. Because, as Walter Cronkite so eloquently stated, "Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation."
11. Just finished listening to the USA men's soccer team get beat by Germany but advance through to the next stage of the World Cup anyway, thus solidifying my belief that soccer is the sport of sorcerers, comprised of rules written in jabberwocky that billions of people around the world just pretend to understand because they don't want to appear ignorant. I'm not afraid to say it: soccer makes no sense and I dislike it intensely, but still: USA! USA! USA!
12. The sun is shining outside my door, there is a skeleton crew here in my office, my brain is fried to a nice charred crisp, and I would like nothing more than to be spending the afternoon poolside with a six month old trashy magazine. Alas.
13. We attended a Little Free Library workshop last week and are going to unveil one before the end of the summer outside my office. And by "we" I mean my sweet boss, her beau, my husband, and anybody else who cares to join us. We have been brainstorming grandiose ideas, centered around re-purposed materials from the Habitat ReStore, with a bench for sitting built into the design. Our office is in a part of town that needs a little TLC, with a new school right down the street, a ramshackle "community center" one block over, and several small churches within walking distance. We have high hopes for this little endeavor.
It's like I always say...there's no such thing as a hopeless optimist.
Optimists run on an endless supply of hope.
Thank goodness! Someone has to!
*Title truth courtesy of Meloday Beattie.