Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Scrapbooking - It's not just a hobbie, it's an adventure!

This past weekend was one of my two most favorite weekends each year, The Sweatshoppe Retreat! I can hear the huhs? already.

Backstory: When I first started scrapbooking I met Laurie one Superbowl Sunday at the old Scrapbook Creations location. That friendship morphed into and extended friendship with Lynn, Jessica, Colleen, Tracy, Marion, Marilyn, Amy, Penny, Suzanne and more! We'd meet at Laurie's house or at a local firehouse or church or at SC's bi-annual retreat down in the Corning area at a conference/retreat center that will remain nameless for now.

Eventually, we secured a room by ourselves at the SC retreats because, to be honest, we could get a bit rowdy and loud and we apparently upset some of the other ladies of the extended group. This past spring we hit upon the idea to split away from the SC group and use a smaller venue for our core group of 12 to 14 scrappers. Someone, I think Tracy came up with the name The Sweatshoppe and we were off and scrapping!

Fast Forward to this weekend: We met this past weekend for an extended weekend, Thursday through Monday and had quite a time! We had our own house/lodge that slept all of us and where we could put our tables and all be in the same room. We had great light from windows on all three sides and our own kitchen to make meals when we wanted. We were off to a great start!

It lasted until Friday afternoon when one of the bathrooms backed up. Help came slowly and a snake even slower. By Saturday morning we were down to one bathroom, by Saturday evening we were down to none! 13 women and NO BATHROOM! NO SHOWER AND NO WATER! Not good I tell you, not good...

The maintenance staff and executive director told us the septic system was filled to the max and needed to be pumped out but they couldn't get a 'honey' truck to us until sometime on Sunday. First it was 7:30 a.m. then it was 11:00 a.m. and finally the danged thing showed up sometime around 1:30 p.m.!

So, what's a girl, or more correctly, 13 girls to do? The solution we were given was a key to room 47 in the main lodge. To go to the bathroom, or to shower, or to brush our teeth, we had to leave the house walk down the gravel drive hill, along the West Wing of the main lodge to the closest door to use the bathroom in room 47 or the common bathroom along the main lodge's south wing. We'd go in packs, or in pairs, or in my case, at 3:30 a.m. alone - and let me tell you, it's cold in those hills at 3:30 in the morning! Brrr!!!

As I figured, if I trekked to the West Wing to take a shower -- the truck would come, and it did. I finally walked over with my shampoo bottle, soap and a few extra towels and took a shower (we were all feeling a bit gamey by Sunday morning ;-) and while the truck hadn't arrived while I was showering, it showed up while I was drying my hair.

But lest you think our weekend was all drama and no fun - au contrar! The cocktail hour started at 11:00 one morning because one of us hadn't set her watch back the week before for daylight savings time so it was at least noon by her watch! And as Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett like to remind us - "It's 5 o'clock somewhere!" We also made our bi-annual pilgrimage to the Country Pub II for Friday Fish Fry (and some went Saturday night for the band). We even found one of our favorite waitress was expecting a baby so we whipped up a little album for her.

We also DID get some actual scrapbooking done! One of us got 29 pages done, another 39 or 40. I finished two mini albums and did 9 8x8 pages for our Disney album and three for the baby album. We had our Chinese gift exchange and a lot of inspiration was shared by all. The best part was the laughs. Here are a few high points for those who were there.

* Miss Sha-Nay-Nay!!!

* The true meaning of peaches and nectarines

*The Mudslide Queen - Miss Lynnie

*The true use for a freezer - wish I took a picture!"

* Fitted sheets will be coming next time!

* and the "tons" as in "Miss Crabby Crabberton"

To all my scrapping buds in the Sweatshoppe - thank you for the 2nd best weekend of the year! You ladies truly ROCK!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!!

Halloween went of very well at the Muir household tonight, despite the message above. We had some of the cutest little kids come to the door. It was such fun getting down on their level to talk to them about their costumes and stuff while I handed out candy.

Miss Alexa went as her alter ego - Miss Little Devil!

This is Alexa and her friend, Samah. They went to Alexa's gymnastic center for a Halloween sleepover last Saturday night. Samah went as a 60's Hippie Chick! She is so cute and the sweetest child you'd ever want to meet. We keep offering to trade her for Alexa but so far no takers!

This is Alexa and her friend, Melissa. Originally the girls wanted to go as "Hawaiian Punch" Alexa as a Hawaiian hula girl and Melissa as a boxer. That idea didn't fly, but Melissa decided to go as a boxer anyway. Again, we offer to keep Melissa and send Alexa home to the Kelly household but no takers!