Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 20th finally came. It was the day for me to fly to Arizona for a week of Christmas frolicking with my daughters.  The day started off well.  I woke at 12:30 but made it back to sleep until 2:30.  I got up and read for a while.  Tried to go back to sleep to no avail.  I got up and did 40 minutes of yoga, Pilates and Qi Gong.  Into the shower I went and I was ready to go.

We had a lovely sunrise going into Chicago. The hubster let me off and I made my way to the American Airlines domestic check in.  I was at the wrong place, imagine that?  I ventured to “C” where a young man ignored me while he checked my bag at the kiosk which was a little ATM looking machine.  Got my bag checked and made my way to the longest f…ing line I’ve been in since Kings Island.  (Theme park in Ohio.)

I checked with the folks in the front and in back of me to make sure they were not traveling internationally.  I hate being in the wrong line to find out at the end that I’ve got to go stand in another one.  (State of Illinois bullshit strategy!)

Boston was in front of me and a Brit behind me but who was traveling domestically.  She called her “mum” and spoke with the loveliest accent.  I enjoyed her conversation but I could have done without it.  I think mum and she were bickering.

I checked at the turn of the line to be SURE I was in the right line.  While waiting a young and very handsome black man unleashed the cord gate and stepped between the Brit and myself saying, “I’m working here.” I decided to ignore him but felt like an ass.  I have a suspicious nature and so I turned and asked him who he was working for.  He palmed a security badge with the TSA logo on it.

Note aside from story:  TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration but it is also known as “Those Silly Asses”.  That gave me a chuckle and I wanted to share it.

I smiled at him and told him that I was about ready to turn him in.  I turned a couple of times to ask him another question making sure I could identify him if necessary.  I could only imagine that if  he was really a subversive, and I had the most contact with him but couldn’t identify him because I was so stressed.

I asked him the time, I asked him if he liked his job.  I wanted to ask him what he would have done if I had raised my arms over my head and yelled for Security.  I didn’t.

A security officer and his dog came by sniffing at everyone.  The dog nudged me in the butt and gave me a star.  Everyone was staring at me and the black man behind me.  The dog proceeded to jump on the man and he took a rope of some kind from him.  The security man picked up the dog hugging her like a lamb and praising her.  “Good job.”

I asked the man behind me, “was that the job you were doing?”  “Yeah, it was,” he replied.  I told him he was doing a good job and he exited from the area.

The dog was a beaut.  She was liver colored and a hound of some kind.  Feel secure folks.  The TSA are doing their jobs.

I finally made it to the security check and I made it through fine.  The line I went to was long but the one next to it was not.  I switched lines.  As I went thought he security gate a guard waved me back.  I had been randomly selected.  I can’t win the f…ing lottery but am randomly selected.  I gave up my coat and put on my readers as suggested by the security guard.  I went into the special x-ray machine and stood on the footprints.  I was scanned and then frisked form head to toe by a very nice lady who refused to look me in the eye.  I was okayed and I retrieved my purse and jacket and proceeded to the ladies room and relieved myself in more ways than one.

I have friends who really resent the TSA treatment but I feel it is for our security.  I have nothing to hide and so I don’t mind.  Others feel our rights are being violated.  After September 11, I feel I can meet them halfway to insure our country is safe and secure.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Yesterday I spent the morning in Rockford at the Farm Bureau at Horticulture for the Holidays workshop.  There were about thirty gardeners present.  I wasn’t sure where I was going and left early.  It was closer than expected and I got there about an hour early.  They were just unloading supplies from their vehicles to set up and so I joined in and helped set up.

I met Megan who is one of the master gardeners in Winnebago County.  I also ran into Candice who I have had many classes with in the past two years, and who was to be one of the presenters on this day.

Kathy unloaded her car load of goodies.  She had baked nutbreads, cookies, brownies and strudels.  I got the job of cutting the bread into slices.  We got the goodie table set up and folks started arriving for the workshop.  I decided since everyone was so busy, I would be the cashier.  Megan had left her list of attendees on the printer at home.

The first lady who signed up gave me her copy of the receipt and I used this as my ledger to keep track of who paid and who attended prepaid.  Megan was very pleased.

Our first workshop was presented by Candice who gave us a brief presentation of herbs. She discussed varieties of herbs, how to preserve them and how to use them.  Questions raised and answered, we then proceeded to make three different herbal products.  We made an Energizing Facial Scrub using corn meal, oatmeal and herbs (I chose rosemary), Moisturizing Body Scrub, using coconut oil, sugar and herbal oil, and a Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub, using brown sugar and pumpkin spice.

I had the stuff all over my hands and went to wash them.  My hands felt so velvety soft and moisturized.

We took a short break and had snacks and coffee and then came back to Kathy’s presentation where she showed up how to make an origami photo book.  I was in awe and I don’t awe much at all.  It was so cute and I couldn’t wait to make my little booklet.

Of course I had to screw up right away.  I used my Winnebago County Extension office pencil (free gift) and the blue ink came off on my paper when I tried to press it flat with the edge.  And then I folded one too many times.  Oh well, it’s just paper.  (That is what Kathy told us in the beginning.)

New paper gotten and I opened my instructions this time.  I had to catch up with my neighbors.  I had such a nice time making this little project.  I haven’t finished it as yet but stopped by Michael’s after the workshop to get some supplies to make another when I do finish this one.

It was fun going around the room and seeing the results of other people’s projects.  I met some really nice folks and look forward to my next workshop.