Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kittyboy finds a cricket!

Last night at Bible study, the toddler kept me on my toes as usual. Taking along both our babygates did help, but unfortunately is not the whole solution. Even if he can't open cupboard doors entirely, he can still bang them. Lovely noise!
Anyhow, at one point he began jumping and squealing very happily. He had found a cricket! And it was a BIG lovely cricket, we're talking grasshopper size. And it was alive! And oooh, it made skittery sounds and chirped and jumped and was just wonderful. Kittyboy wanted to PET that wonderful jumpy thing! And it didn't want to be petted, and so it jumped more! And that was even more exciting!
I did rescue it from him, it did not meet the fate of most crickets who meet cats, OR small children, for that matter. But it did provide a lot of excitement!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

canning chicken

I'm a little paranoid about the latest additions to my pantry - five pints of cooked, deboned chicken. I've never canned meat before. It's a little unnerving.
I estimate about half a jar to add chicken to a bean soup or vegetable soup or something, and a full jar for chicken soup. I've also got stock in the fridge I'm going to can tomorrow - all the bones, skin and fat from the chicken, plus celery, carrots, onions, and spices (including oregano and basil from my own garden), boiled way down and strained.
We had stocked up on chicken before starting to sign up for Angelfood every month, and now we have more than I can use. Frozen, it will NEVER get used - too much work. But in jars, after one incredibly long day of de-boning, it's as easy as opening a can. We're getting split breasts next month - what do you DO with those, except boil for soup? So I'll be canning a bunch again. This is SO much fun!
When I was little, I thought it'd be fun to be Donna Reed. Okay, not when I was LITTLE, when I was LITTLE we didn't have a television. But you know, junior high or so, I thought that'd be so cool. Have the house always clean, dinner cooked, laundry done... Seriously, I thought she had the easiest (HA HA HA) job ever. Nowadays, I think my housewifely role model is more Caroline Ingalls. (As in Laura Ingalls' mom? Little House on the Prairie - the books, not the tv show?) My house may not be clean, my laundry may not be done, but if we're snowed in tomorrow, we've got food "put by" in the pantry!
And after a day of playing Caroline Ingalls (while my jars were processing, I used more than five gallons of aquarium water to water my plants, gee THAT was fun), I am beat!

more signing fun

Kittyboy has now added bird and baby to his vocabulary. Apparently the best strategy for getting him to sign is to just sign anything we can think of, willy-nilly, and he'll pick up SOMETHING. Added to his farm is a chicken, and a horse. Chicken is bird, and horse is the next one I'll start doing regularly. Have to get horse right, since he kept telling me this morning in church that St. George is riding a doggie. Everything with ears and four legs now falls into the category of kitty or doggie, most often doggie (although he told me that Spot the Target dog is a kitty - who knew!).
There was a baby behind us in church, and he kept pointing at it, "mming" and signing baby. That was cute.
And I've created a monster, what with pointing out "Look, there's Daddy! See Daddy?" every time Husband appears during the service. As an acolyte, Husband pops in and out regularly, and before Kittyboy started saying Daddy, I kept pointing out Daddy every time he appeared. So now, every time he sees Daddy during church, he SAYS, "Ndad-ndy! Ndad-ndy! Ndad-ndy! Ndad-ndy!" and gets loud about it. I kept whispering, "Yes, and Daddy says SHH. Daddy says we're being quiet and listening now. Daddy says you need to learn how to whisper."

Friday, September 26, 2008

signing fun

Just investigated the Tractor Supply Company store near Meijer. Farming stores have the bestest toys! Kittyboy has a kitty and a doggie (specifically a Bernese Mountain dog), chosen from a wide variety of molded plastic animals. That's part of what I love about farm stores' toy sections, the realistic and even breed-specific animals. You can choose between an Angus, Brahman, or Charolais bull for your farm, and for dogs they had dalmations, Bernese, labs, and a couple others. So we got a yellow tabby cat and a Bernese Mountain dog, and over the weekend I'll figure out what other animal he's most likely to encounter in books, learn the sign for it, and get one of those. Then we'll play "What's this?" going through kitty, doggie, and the new critter. His farm will expand as he learns the signs for the animals.
We're working on combining Please with other signs, so that it's actually a request. Right now he signs Please whenever he wants ANYTHING, but without a sign to tell you for what he is saying Please. So we're working on Eat Please, Drink Please, Read Please. His current method of saying that he wants to read a book is to throw it in my lap while signing Please, and if I'm in the middle of something he starts commanding, loudly, "MMMM! MMMM!" and if that doesn't work, will start hitting my leg with the book. It escalates pretty steadily. And it gets old, FAST, especially since I often say "Wait" just out of principle to try and teach him to wait, even a moment or so, for what he wants. So now instead of Wait, I ask him, "Please what?" and sign Book/Read. Ideally, he will start phrasing requests for specifically what he wants, or the sign closest to what he wants, and it would cut down on the frustration for both of us.
Oh, and Janna SL (the new one, speech/language) is helping us start PECS, Picture Exchange Communication System. We're trying to get him to choose between things, like having a picture of bubbles and a picture of a book, and whichever he picks is what we do.
And he'll talk eventually. Really, he will!

Trip to the Gun Store

We have the awesomest military surplus store not far from us. If people start rioting over the stock market mess, that's where I'm going, because all the employees are armed. Nothing says "You're safe in here, by golly!" like an openly carried handgun. I love it.
Before the whole smoking ban fiasco, it was also the only business other than a tobacconist's shop that I could walk into and smell pipe smoke. Two of the owners smoked pipes, and it smelled woooooooderful.
Last time we were in there, Kittyboy wasn't walking all that well, that's how long it's been, so I went there for a case for my brother Yan's SKS. So we walked in this afternoon, me with Kittyboy in tow, asking to buy a soft gun case for a hunting gun (Yan said anything fitting a typical hunting rifle should work). God bless the man behind the counter, he asked, "Did you bring your gun along so I can check the fit?" MY gun. "Why sure, Kittyboy darling, how about running out to the car for Mommy's rifle?" That was so funny, but I suppose I could have had a gun along in my trunk. And that WOULD be good customer service, not assuming that the diminuitive woman with a child in her arms doesn't own a gun herself. He probably does wait on women hunters pretty regularly, too.
Anyhow, I told him it's my brother's gun, it's an SKS, he pulled one off the wall, and we got a case to fit it. He could even scope it and have it still fit in the case, it's great. This guy who was fitting the case and everything, he's about my age, and he always waves at Kittyboy and talks to him. "Hello there little man, how are YOU doing today?" Good guy, we like him.
The other thing I love about the gun store is that it's CASH ONLY. Even though that means going to the bank before going there, I just think it's awesome that someone has held out when everyone else takes plastic. They do their own math on the receipt, tax and everything (they have a table showing sales tax for various amounts). That's just so cool. Doing their own math and counting back change without a register to do it for them - that just ROCKS.
And as always, Kittyboy did not think we were done when it was time to leave. He never thinks we're ready to leave. The first time we went in there when he wasn't in a car seat, he sat up straight in my arms and reached. It didn't matter in what direction he was looking, there was something he wanted. "Mommy, this is a MAN store, and I am a baby MAN, so why are you not getting me anything?"
The one thing that's always a bit of culture shock every time I go in - they play nothing but COUNTRY MUSIC. Eeeeewwwwwwww....... I guess that says how much I like the store and the owners, because I can think of no other store I would willingly enter where I run the risk of hearing Garth Brooks. Eeeeewwwwww....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Line-drying clothes - in winter!

Did you know that hanging on a clothesline removes that mildewy smell of laundry forgotten in the washer for a day or so? It does!
What just came off the line was my third load of the day. My clothesline was my Mother's Day gift this year. I'd been begging and begging for one, and it made my summer.
I was reading today online that it's not unheard of for neighborhood associations to ban clotheslines. Not restrict them to backyards, just ban them outright. (My uncle in Colorado had to sign a covenant promising to water his yard - Colorado is MOSTLY DESERT. So - yeah. And I'm sure that those running his neighborhood association are newly perplexed, every year, when they encounter mandated water rationing and fireworks on the 4th of July are forbidden. "What? Again this year? Gee, there was enough water for my Bermuda this spring, I can't imagine what's wrong with the water supply NOW...")
Anyhow, a woman commenting on the blog said that when she was growing up, the dryer only ran when it was below freezing. If there was a sun and it was 33 degrees, they hung their laundry. And it kinda makes sense when you consider that dryness in the air is a problem in winter - if the air is dry, the clothes will also dry faster. Just ask anyone who's hung out laundry with 70% humidity - doesn't matter how bright the sun is, drying will take forever. So it stands to reason that although you might only hang a load a day in winter (shorter daylight hours, sunlight less direct), it would still work. I think I'll try it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My humorless little brother

The youngest of my siblings, here named SCROOGE, claims that it is bizarre and wrong to call our odd and unique child Kittyboy.
1. Read the Skippy Jon Jones books. You will note the main character, a male Siamese kitten "little boy", is referred to as "the kittyboy".
2. Kittyboy likes dangly stringy things.
3. He is very funnily perplexed by laser pointers. He pokes at the little red dots.
4. Most incriminatingly, he learned a habit from our male cat, Magic, with whom he was at one time obsessed (and the cat similarly smitten with him). Magic thumps his head on things affectionately. Used to knock Kittyboy over doing that, when the boy was first learning to sit! And for a brief time, so did Kittyboy - he would bounce up to us in his doorway jumper and rub his forehead on us. Sooo cute. And soooo cat.
So, Kittyboy he is!

Hey Scrooge - nyah nyah nyahnyah nyah! :P

Evals for the IFSP

IFSP is coming up next month. I think that stands for Individual Family Service Plan, it's the meeting where we discuss what therapies Kittyboy requires from Early Intervention. We have these every six months. At the last one, we gained OT. And wheeew, I think this time we'll be LOSING therapists. PT and DT did their evaluations today, and when I asked Janna the PT if we'd be seeing her two weeks from today, she said only if he still qualified for PT after she scores his test. I kind of doubt it, honestly, because he may be a touch "behind" still, but no longer anywhere near the 30% delay required to qualify. No where near. We've had Janna since Kittyboy came home, and it would be so weird to lose her. But so cool to no longer qualify for every therapy on the face of the planet. We might lose Rhonda DT too, but of that I'm not so sure, because a lot of things she asked Kittyboy to do, he didn't do. That's not necessarily because he CAN'T, it's because of what she called his 45-second attention span. I don't know how that plays out when it comes to calculating a percentage of delay.
When he came home from the hospital, we had PT, DT, and feeding therapists just about immediately. Feeding, there was no question, because Kittyboy couldn't swallow thin liquids without choking. PT and DT he qualified for based first on prematurity, then because of a head tilt, a general weakness on the left side of his body, and an all-over delay in things like rolling, shaking rattles and whatnot. They're the ones who first thought there was a hearing problem, which lead to proof that he had auditory processing issues (because there was an undeniable "hearing problem" but his ears "heard" perfectly), which lead to Misty the OT, who diagnosed sensory processing problems overall. Once we got OT, everything started falling into place! And now he doesn't NEED Janna PT or Rhonda DT and may no longer even qualify for either. :)
Doesn't mean we won't miss them, very very much. :(

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sleepwalking... while awake?

Last night, middle of the night sometime, I got up. I went to the kitchen and turned on the light. I came back to bed and told Husband, "You need to get up and help me contain Kittyboy." He rolled over and said, with the tone of one who's said it before, "Kittyboy's still in bed, dear. He's asleep. Go back to bed." He shut off the kitchen light and I went back to sleep.
The funny thing is, I remember this. I remember, at the time, believing that Kittyboy was up, out of his room, and I don't know what he was doing, but I guess he wouldn't go back to his room or something ("help me contain..."). I remember turning around after Husband told me Kittyboy was still in bed asleep, not seeing him (KB) behind me, and thinking, "Oh, okay, he's not up after all" and then going to bed. This morning, I thought maybe I'd dreamed the whole thing, because by definition, somnambulism is not remembered, so I asked if I'd done anything weird during the night, and Husband recounted exactly what I remembered happening. I've done this before, woken up in the middle of the night and tried to get Husband up to help me with Kittyboy, only to be told the boy's still asleep in bed. I've just never gotten up and done stuff before. Each time, I'm convinced the boy's up. At least once, I've argued with Husband over whether that's true ("No he's not asleep - are you sure? He's not up?"). And each time, when I look around to find Kittyboy, I realize he's not there, he really is asleep, and then I go back to bed.
But I seem to be conscious while it's happening. And I remember it when I wake up. So I'm awake... but I'm dreaming.
How weird is that!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wardrobe musings

I theorize that there are two type of people in the clothing world - brown and black. Nothing to do with melanin, everything to do with your taste in clothing.
I hate brown. My hair is brown, and believe me, it's not because I picked the color. And I don't wear khakis, or suede, or patterns with brown in them, because in my mind, brown goes with two things - white (hello, spilled coffee!) and more brown.
Some people wear a LOT of brown. Their "basics" are khaki, with brown shoes, hemp-string jewelry, and brown leather purses. If they encounter a design of slacks they really like, they'll make sure to grab a pair in khaki, because it will go with most of what's hanging in their closet.
I am not one of these people.
Every BASIC pair of shoes I own is black. When I think basic, I think black. I have an assortment of black t-shirts, tank tops, and blouses. I have black pants and black skirts. If it's slightly goth but could be dressed up nicely, I'll buy it. My accent colors are anything bright that goes well with BLACK. More than one very nice outfit has been gleaned in part from Hot Topic's clearance rack, and you'd never know it.
But slowly, surely, my tastes are being expanded. First, I was given a dress that fits perfectly, but is cappuchino with white polka dots. It's been hanging in my closet for a little over two years, and has never been worn because I have no shoes to go with it. I have no white shoes! Then, last week, in a bid to compile complementary outfits for a "mommy and me" picture with Kittyboy (he has a cream suit, very 70s looking), I found a pair of clogs, brown soles and white uppers. Comfy, cute but with what will I wear them? Oh well, I'll figure out something. Not the cappuchino-polka-dot dress, that really needs white heels, but something.
Then today, I picked up a pair of jeans from a fellow Freecycler. When I think of jeans, I think of denim. These are KHAKIS. But, they have pretty embroidery on the pockets, they're nice-looking and cute, and they do fit perfectly. And OOH! I have these cute brown and white clogs to go with them...
The lady who gave me the khakis also gave me some belts that are not what I would usually consider in a store, but for free, I'll certainly find something to go with them. One is BROWN, with a lovely silver flower-shaped buckle.
It just feels so weird to be wearing shades of brown. But I suppose inspiration strikes in unexpected places! And when it's thrift-store or free, I guess I can afford to experiment!
The current plan for "Mommy and Me" is Kittyboy in his suit, me in clogs and embroidered khakies and a cute WHITE blouse. Still need the cute white blouse. And while I'm at it, maybe one pair of strappy white heels for the cappuchino-polka-dot dress.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A "Peach" of a meal

Pork Steaks with White Peach Chutney

1/2-3/4 cup medium salsa
1/2 cup white peach jam
1/2-3/4 cup canned white peaches and juice
couple slices of onion, diced
one Anaheim pepper, diced

Cook and stir until blended, pour over two pork steaks in a skillet, cook on medium until pork is done. Serve with white peach slices.
I made this for dinner tonight, with white peaches and jam I'd put up myself. HEAVENLY.

Kittyboy finds a CAVE!

Since our son is a morning person and we are not, we bring him back to our bed every morning when he wakes up, just to grab a few more minutes horizontal. When he first came home from the hospital, he was all soft and cuddly and would lay very sweetly on top of one of us, like a warm teddy bear. It wasn't long at all (a couple months?) that he decided laying still was boring and became all elbows and knees. By now, he's gotten a little dangerous. We spend most of the time saying, "Ow!" and moving.
But hey, it gets us out of bed faster!
This morning, he discovered that a magical, unexplored realm appears when you lift up the covers. Blankets - they're not just for peekaboo anymore! He had a CAVE! It was a lovely cave, too, all soft and cozy and dark, and after a while he didn't want to come out! There was a little boy-shaped lump sitting up in the middle of our bed, bouncing and "mm!"ing. It was hysterical. We threw back the covers and he was sitting there waving and smiling, then he turned around, grabbed the blankets, and pulled them back over his head. Back to the KatCave!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First appointment with SL

Guess what - there's basically not a thing Speech can do that we're not trying to do already.
He's just going to talk really late, that's all there is to it. You can lead a horse to water, but not make him drink - you can put a toddler in his bed, but not make him sleep - and you can say "ball! ball! buh-buh ball!" 'til the cows come home, and if he's not in a "b" mood, buh-buh-buh will never happen. He knows what a ball is, he likes them very much, throwing and fetching, but he absolutely will not say buh on command. I'm beginning to think he doesn't see the point. He KNOWS the colorful sphere is a ball - why bother to SAY it? The same for kitty, doggie, all that. What silly grownups we are, that we want HIM to tell us what a ball is and what a kitty is.
Our "home assignment" - business as usual!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A big-boy bed!

As I write, Kittyboy is sleeping peacefully in a real bed. We didn't find any used toddler beds in thrift shops, they're highly sought-after items on Freecycle, so for about the price of a cheap new one, we got a day-bed at Salvation Army. It's close enough to twin-size that we can use twin sheets on it, and he can sleep on it well into gradeschool.
He picked it out himself, completely ignoring the ugly brown upholstery to scramble up and bounce while patting the mattress. We took him off and put him next to a different twin bed, and he ran back to the daybed and sat on it with a huge toothy grin. He had chosen!
It still knocks my socks off that he falls asleep semi-autonomously. So imagine how flabbergasted I am that we can tuck the sheet around him, put his weighted blanket over him and Rocky on the pillow next to him, and with occasional fussing, he GOES TO SLEEP, in a bed that isn't even keeping him there. It just blows my mind. A year ago I was dreading the day he'd outgrow his baby swing, because he never, ever slept without motion. He slept in the swing or the carseat with someone's food rocking it, nowhere else. Never. And that wasn't for lack of trying, it was just the only thing that worked. Even a rocking chair wouldn't put him to sleep (and what mommy can't rock her baby to sleep?).
And now he's in a real bed. I tuck him in under real sheets and everything. I'm so happy I'm crying.
God is so good!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Random Act of Kindness

This morning was not a good one. Kittyboy was very distressed by SOMETHING (I think teething but can't say for sure). He was crying easily, upset at every small transition, he was VERY "off". It culminated in him grabbing two fistfuls of hair and, with grunting and effort, pulling the hair out of his head. I could see the strands between his fingers from across the room, it was that much. And he didn't seem to notice any pain from that whatsoever. Thank God, no scalp was damaged, but it was quite disturbing.
So we needed a change of scenery. I didn't know what to do for him about the hair-pulling, but he's always calmed down outside, and though it was drizzling, I strapped him in his carrier and we went out for a walk. I didn't know where to look for our umbrella, I've not used it in years, I just knew we needed to get out. We'd take the bus to Walmart or something. So we walked, and walked, while it turned from a drizzle to steady rain.
Then a car came towards us and stopped, on the opposite side of the road, just before we got to the bus stop. I thought, "Oh great, someone to tell me my child needs a coat, that my child shouldn't be out in the rain, just great. I don't need this right now." So I was bracing for impact, as a lady jumped out of the car and ran across the road with an umbrella. She just gave me the umbrella!!! I asked if I could return it, and she said no, she had several at home, and she'd just seen us out and wanted us to have an umbrella. I thanked her - had I not been in total shock, I would have tried to get her name or something. And when she got back in her car, she turned around and drove the opposite direction. So it wasn't even that she was driving along and had an umbrella in the car - she had driven home to GET one!
What a wonderful angel!
And as we stood at the bus stop, the skies DID open up, and it was pouring, solid water. We would have been absolutely soaked to the bone without the umbrella.
I'm going to buy an umbrella that folds up tiny, to keep in my backpack (the walking and bus-riding diaper bag), and keep this one in the car. Hopefully we see someone sometime walking in the rain without an umbrella.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Toddler bed transitions...

Typically you wait until a toddler's 2-3 or so to start talking toddler bed, or so I read online. You look for various landmarks, like ease of sleep transitions, a certain level of communication, whatever, every opinion on what matters varies to a certain extent. But every website agrees on one thing. If the kid can escape the crib, he needs a toddler bed, pronto.
Well, Kittyboy now falls into that category. We have no communication as far as the concept of "big-boy bed", he's only 20 months, falling asleep is not always easy, and waking up is often distressing. BUT, he is SO capable of escaping his crib. Standing in his crib, with the mattress on the lowest level and the side raised completely, he can put his foot up to the top of the rail. He just hasn't followed through yet. No doubt, though, he's strong enough that it wouldn't take long!
So, next payday we're getting a toddler bed, if I don't get one through Freecycle first. In the meantime, we're ensuring he doesn't climb out of the crib - the mattress is all the way on the floor! I just don't know what we'll do about keeping him in a bed without sides long enough for him to actually fall asleep!
We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Some REAL money-saving tips...

I am a sucker for "how to live cheaper" articles, and Yahoo Finance has many. I've read them all. They don't apply.
We don't have a cable bill to cut. We don't drink Starbucks. We don't go out to movies. We don't eat out but once in a great while. When we want pizza, I get a three-dollar frozen one. So tips such as "A sack lunch at work can save you $35 a week!" ARE USELESS, as are "Brewing your own coffee rather than stopping at Starbucks" and "Renting movies instead of going to the theater".
So here is how WE live cheaper.
Honestly, it starts with Angelfoodministries.com. There's not an application or income level requirement, it's not food stamps (but you can use food stamps to buy it!), it's just very cheap food, great if you don't qualify for food stamps but are tired of beans and pasta. It's almost a month's worth of groceries in one shot. I budget about $50 a month for the regular package and one special, and plan the rest of the month around what's in the freezer and pantry. There's frozen meat, frozen vegetables, some canned stuff, a quart of shelf-stable milk, a dozen eggs, it's a variety of things, all of which keep in the pantry or freezer. The rest of the month, I go to my freezer and pantry first, to see what one or two ingredients I need for a complete dish, and then buy just that.
Shop N Save, or at least the one near us, has a clearance basket up at the front of the store. Whatever is in it that's useful, I buy, whether or NOT I have a use for it right then. Cans with torn labels, boxes that got dented or cut while unloading, bags that sprang a leak. Then later when I'm low on ideas, I have things in the pantry I wouldn't normally buy, but which might prove inspiring.
Getting really, really serious about sales and coupons helps too.
When it comes to cooking, a white sauce made of margarine, flour, and powdered milk stretches a can of cream soup to feed a family (if you have some miscellaneous vegetable or something to add). If you just make a sauce and dump in whatever canned vegetables are in the pantry, presto, dinner's done. It costs pennies, but tastes good, and doesn't FEEL like a cheap meal.
Recycling and composting as much as possible have kept us to one can of trash a week (our hauler charges by the can). This is EVEN WITH a baby still not out of diapers, and we do use disposables (I'm nowhere near organized enough to do cloth just yet).
If you're diligent and have a green thumb, garden - if you start your plants from seeds, your initial investment is almost nil.
Having one car can make schedules inconvenient if the husband needs it for work but I have somewhere I want to go during the day. But, we've found that having a bus pass and walking has cut our gas cost in half. You'd also be surprised how many errands can be put off until the husband's next day off, or at least until he returns from work, when the alternative is an hour round-trip on the bus. And shopping at somewhere like Walmart or the other big stores where things are theoretically cheaper only saves you money if you don't have to drive there. Walking is free!
I'll post more as things come to mind!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Recap of Ethnic Festival

The Ethnic Festival was last weekend! Lots of salsa music, belly-dancing, Indian food, Greek, German, Italian, etc. Lots of fun. And St. Anthony's has three booths, every year, one with gyros, spanakopita, saganaki and such, one with something special like freshly-made loukoumades (like doughnuts, sort of) or baklava sundaes, and one with pastries. I do the pastry booth, every year. It's a woman thing, sort of. :) There are women in the gyros booth, but no men in the pastry tent. Who knows why.
Anyhow, my first shift was Saturday morning. I got there shortly after 10, thinking 10-ish is when we were supposed to set up. Panic moment - everything in packages and boxes, all pastries boxed in the freezer truck, signs not even up, and ME THE ONLY CHICK. In setting up, my job is to fetch, carry, find, arrange, all of it taking orders from one of the women who's done it forever. I've done it enough years I know what's IN everything, I look at the names of the pastries and go, "Oh yeah, that's the one", but I don't do the setting up! And it was just me until about 10:30, dashing about trying to decide what to do first. Then women start showing up - fellow white-bread Americans less experienced than ME, who have never even been at the festival before, and were less familiar than I was with what the pastries were. So guess who ended up giving the orders!!! I pulled in someone from the gyros tent to match up pastries and labels, and we got signs up, labels out, and found at least one tray of everything to have out in case worst-case scenario happened and we were all who'd signed up for the morning. I figured we were going to have to wing our first transactions with the change and singles from our purses, because we didn't know where to look for the cash box. But hey, IF we were it, we at least had stuff out, covered, and bare-bones ready to go.
Then the cavalry swooped in! Annette, wonderful woman, kept apologizing for changing what I'd set up - like I wasn't ready to fall down and kiss her feet for saving me!! Which I totally was!! She's one of the ones I usually take orders from! I'm taking notes this year, to save somewhere for next year, in case I'm on my own again. And then the day actually wasn't that busy - just LONG.