I am relieved that the NW Flower and Garden Show ended a few days ago and I still have a voice. We have had a booth at the show for the past four years to sell mason bees. I always enjoy the show, but I'm always glad that its over. Between setting up the booth, working at the booth for five days, and taking the booth down, its been a very long week. I am very grateful for the help of some very good friends and family who helped me get through it. We didn't do as well as we did last year, but we didn't lose money either. Attendance at the show was down due to the economy so our sales were off some too.
This year's show had a self sufficiency theme which I certainly endorse. Three of the display gardens actually had some sort of chicken coop. I took some pictures at the show with my phone, but I'm still trying to figure out how to download them to the computer. I may need to mooch some of the pictures that Linda took with her camera. One chicken coop was made from an old truck, with the chickens roosting in the cab. My personal favorite was a "John Deere" theme chicken tractor made from a fifty gallon drum.
Rachel Kang did a very fine job as our cashier for the first four days of the show. Rick and Theresa Jamsgard helped on Wednesday. Terry Johnson, Linda, and Sofia Romero came on Thursday. Sofia promptly wangled a position as cashier trainee. Sherry Russell and Sofia helped on Friday. Beth and my daughter Rachel came on Saturday. On Sunday Sherry, Shannon Boling, and Shannon's daughter, Savanna worked at the booth. All of the non relatives are friends from the bee store. Having lots of help made it a much more pleasant experience and is the only reason I had any voice left on Monday..
On Monday I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. in order to get to the Convention Center by 7:00 a.m., our scheduled time to get onto the loading dock so we could dismantle our booth. I am so grateful I have friends who will cheerfully get up that early in the morning to help me. Don Smith helped me set up the booth and Quentin Williams helped me take it down. It felt very good to have it over and I celebrated when I got home by working in the garden with Lance.
Lance and I had a great time working outside. We fed the animals, pruned one of my grape vines, planted peas, and shallots, and set a "have a heart" rat trap I borrowed from Quentin. I actually don't have much of a heart where rats are concerned. It just means I have to drown them after I catch them. We baited the trap with peanut butter and set it up near my new "Chicken Chateau". We also played a little bit of half court croquet. Lance stuck right by my side until Linda came home. Then he dropped me like a hot potato. I actually don't mind that the grand kids like Linda best. I feel like I score a lot of points with them just because I'm part of a package deal. Linda is a rock star among grandmas so I don't mind being her sidekick. I always use prunings from my grape vines to make a trellis for the peas. Lance had a great time planting peas and pushing in the grape vine sticks. Lance is a little fuzzy on the concept of proper spacing of seeds so I will probably have to do a little thinning when the peas come up. He made a great point of telling people that he had planted sugar snap peas.
When Lance got up on Tuesday the first thing he wanted to do was check the rat trap. I made the mistake of telling him that I had already checked it. I'll make sure I don't ruin the suspense for him tomorrow.