I was asked the other day to describe my typical day. The requester thought a day in the life of a quilting entrepreneur would make an interesting "on" article. It would actually be about quilting, as opposed to most articles in this series.
I launched off into stuffy rhetoric about managing a staff, holding meetings, planning new projects, organizing quilt show exhibits, paperwork, and so on. It did not sound very interesting to me. I have long been under the impression that if my day-to-day activities were of great interest, then I would go on the talk show circuit. But Jay, Dave, and Oprah have not called.
I realized I had described not a typical day, but rather the most business-like parts of a typical week. I gave a glazed overview of the whole picture, not a snapshot of a typical day as I was asked. The more I thought about it, the more it bugged me ... what was my typical day? Now I considered the request a challenge. So I decided to pick one day that had "typical" potential and write down what I did for that day.
At six o'clock, the first alarm went off. It was my son Marty's tape-recorder-alarm-clock with his own voice yelling, "Marty, time to get up!" He did not hear it, I did. My alarm started beeping at six-thirty, but I am the queen of the snooze button, usually due to a late night spark of creativity, so it rang again at six-thirty seven and so on every seven minutes until 7:19. It was then imperative that I scramble out of bed with lightning speed to wake my two little ones and get them out the door to the bus stop with lunches, homework, permission slips, coats, mittens, ski pants.
Half way through the ordeal I remembered I was going to write this article. I grabbed some paper to write thoughts down, the list for the day. I make lots of lists. I lose lots of lists too. I am not an organized person. I am the one who cannot find my organizer. I hire organized people. I am an organizer wanna-be.
I needed to feed the dogs. I wrote that down. I am the only one that regularly feeds the dogs. The kids can make their own lunch, write their own permission slips, bring a pen and checkbook if money is required, are responsible for their own homework, etc. The little dog, Candy, rocked her stainless steel water bowl to let me know she was thirsty. I filled her bowl.
The kids, the dogs and I walked to the bus stop. I wore my coat over my cat pajamas and a hat over my bed head. I promised myself to feed the dogs when I got back to the house.
I returned home and got back to work writing down what I do. The phone rang. It was my co-coordinator for the annual quilt auction at the kids' school. We arranged to meet later that day. I continued getting ready for the day. I remembered I needed to feed the dogs.
On the way to the dog food on the porch, I peeked into my sewing studio. If I just sketched one embroidery design, I'd be a step closer to completing that project on the table. Six designs later -- still in the cat pajamas and hat -- I remembered, once again, the dogs need some food.
I went through the kitchen and decided to phone out to the office to see if anyone had a question. Everything was under control. Yvonne said it was a "typical day". I thought if she knew what a typical day was, then I should have her write this article.
I made it to the porch after I cleaned up the kitchen, hung the new curtain rods, and moved the furniture in the family room. No dog food. This meant a trip out. This could blow my plans. A trip out is not really a typical day. I tend to stay on the farm and work between the sewing studio and the office.
I could cook for the dogs. I am not much of a cook, but they do not tend to complain. They like eggs or oatmeal. They are not fond of leftover vegetables or fruit. I decided on oatmeal. Mike could stop at the store and pick up dog food on his way home. That would be typical. I could give the dogs some dog food tonight. So, I made oatmeal. They seemed quite satisfied.
As my typical day continued, I was rather distracted while getting ready to go to work. I looked through a new quilt magazine, ripped out two interesting quilt designs...traditional but easy to do with interfacing. I wrote that in my notes. I felt a sense of accomplishment because it had the word "quilt" in it. I checked email and saw 17 new messages. For me, that is a typical day. I wrote that down in my notes. I deleted all the messages whose subject line claimed they would improve physique, finances, or stamina. I felt accomplished as the list was now down to 12. I think that the ones I deleted would have been far more interesting to write about than the ones that remain.
In a flash of anxiety I realized there was a staff meeting today...oops. The agenda needed to be written. I was finally serious about getting ready for work. Bed hair washed and dried and having shed the cat pajamas and hat for overalls (VERY typical) and a turtleneck, I was ready to head out the door.
I grabbed my Quiltsmart sweatshirt jacket and began "the commute" to the office ... thirty paces from door to door. On a cold day it is very quick. On a warm day, it could include anything from gardening to mowing the lawn and definitely a trip to the barn to visit with the sheep. They are made of wool, of course, and wool is made into batting. Batting is put into quilts, so I made a mental note to write that down as it is "about quilting".
But it was cold, so I only faced the hazard of stepping out the door and tripping over Zoe, the barn cat. Zoe has yet to find the barn. The cat who "will never be in our house" has captured all our hearts and she now sleeps in my sewing studio every night, but is out when the kids go to school. Her favorite spot to rest is the same spot that you put your foot onto when you step out the door. She happens to be a "calico" cat - hee, hee...quilting humor and therefore, yes...it qualifies for "about quilting".
I arrived at the office at the early hour of 10:30. I had a staff meeting at 11:00, ate a wonderful slice of cake not made by me...typical, made some phone calls, set up a visit to a quilt shop, had a new product meeting, met with my co-coordinator about the auction quilts.
Mike came home about 6:00 with dog food. I poured the dog food into the bowls. They are not really hungry. They wagged their tails and nudged us to play. So, what do I do on a typical day? I feed the dogs.
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