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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Staff Retreat -- Plus: Sleep is a Very Good Thing! 
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Marilyn had an Auction meeting at 7:30 this morning, so it was an early day. I was telling her that even though I knew we had the staff retreat (meaning half a day with no work), it was hard to motivate myself to go to work this morning. We're still SO TIRED.

This evening we were talking it over and I asked Marilyn why she thought we were both so tired. She said we're still recovering from the festival. I guess that's not surprising, considering we're talking about months leading up to the actual festival...

Anyway, I was working with Rich this morning on the IFEA Pinnacle Award submission for the PeeDee the PDX Carpet as Grand Marshal as Best News Stunt. I worked over his writing, then we sat together and discussed it. Then I re-wrote it.

I don't know if I mentioned it last week or not (???), but I'm sort of involved with the King of Roads Exhibit that opens next month. Anyway, I was invited to a website meeting today, but had to decline. I sent Haley the following advice:
In lieu of my being there, you can mention TWO THINGS I'd say if I were there in person:
One:
Less is more
(This is so true for websites. Always strive to keep the Home page as clean and uncluttered as is possible, but it also applies to every page, whenever possible. People want a nice balance of the visual -- without too many 'bells and whistles' -- plus informative text.)
Two: Each person involved should sit separately and make a list of things that can be changed (ideally deleted/dropped) from each page in order to improve the site. Then share your lists to stimulate ideas for improvement.
(Most changes are, again, about removing the clutter that always ends up on websites. Make it EASY for visitors to find the information they need and want, THEN add some color/fun. Repeat ONE.)


I got a WONDERFUL response in reply! The group used my suggestions and brainstormed a list of eleven items (!!!) for improving the Home page. Pretty impressive!

It's exciting working with students (something I love) and helping them to teach themselves how to improve their own work. Obviously I gave them some basic ideas to consider, but I wanted them to judge their own work -- because that way they're empowered to be the ones making the changes, rather than me saying change this, lose that and so on.

They're excited to get my feedback on their list, which is sweet, I think. I tend to forget that I'm considered an 'expert' (of sorts) in my field, and people actually trust me to guide them. Wow. It humbles me to think about that. Yes, I've done a lot of work with websites in the past decade (plus), but it's still amazing to be able to share what I know with other people. It's especially meaningful when we're talking about students learning things for the future.

Anyway, I was writing that email as Marilyn was calling from downstairs for me to COME DOWN so we could leave for our event! Hahaha. I had to really hurry!

We went to McMenamins Edgefield for our retreat. We had lunch together in the pub at two large tables. I had Jeff on one side and Katie on the other (with Steven sitting at my table and Rich on the end -- along with several other people). Marilyn and Jillian were sitting at the larger table.

We all had lunch and drinks. When Jeff ordered a second drink, I did so, too. I ate fish and chips (not that great, but that's okay) and had a Bloody Mary (very tasty). The second drink was Kahlua and cream (Marilyn had a couple of sips, as she loves that) -- it wasn't very strong.

I guess some people actually had three drinks at lunch, which was a bit surprising. We had appetizers, no limits on the food and then drinks -- very nice of the festival to spring for all of it! And each person was given ten dollars cash to spend.

Donn didn't show up. He was missed.

After lunch everybody split up and went out to do whatever they wanted. I took a TON of beautiful flower photos I wanted to share, but I just couldn't get them to transfer from my iPhone to the computer. (I did try, honestly!!!) Eventually I'll get this worked out, but clearly not anytime soon...

Marilyn went off to get some serious steps. I roamed around looking at flowers and snapping photos (part of the time with Rich, who finally disappeared). Marilyn found me and she and I wandered around, and Jeff joined us for a time (he had scheduled to golf later). I saw some people head to the wine bar to do a tasting. And a group of girls wandering off to sit on the grass and chat. It's such a beautiful place! And the weather was lovely (if a tad hot) today.

Marilyn and I left and headed home, stopping to get Mango smoothies on the way home. We were delighted to be home and lazed around, then finally decided to have naps. Wonderful! Sleep can be just what you need. I wonder how long it will take before we don't feel tired all the time?

Marilyn eventually snacked on some lunch meat and cheese (sans crackers). And I had a rice bowl. (We ate dinner pretty late.)

Mariah and I need to go over the News item for Thursday tomorrow. I'd thought we might get to it today, but there just wasn't enough time. This was her last chance to do a Press Release, so she was pretty excited about it. I'll treat it the same as working with Rich and go through and tweak accordingly as needed. Then we'll talk it through and I'll explain the reasoning to her. (Lots of 'a comma always goes after the date' and so on and so forth. Hahaha.)

Fitbit Update: Marilyn did the treadmill tonight. I wonder how many steps she got??? Just checked with her, she got 15,700 steps! Way to go, Marilyn! I was around 4,700 steps. It's time for me to get more serious about it again.

Speaking of step-related things, I had terrible leg and foot cramps again today. Hard to know WHY. It's not like I walked all that much. I thought I was pretty hydrated, but who knows? I've done endless research about it and had advice from many people. As I've mentioned before, I've been taking a ton of potassium, then I added magnesium. Marilyn very much suspects that one of my medications is the culprit, and I certainly trust her instincts. Yes, I've been prone to leg cramps my entire life, though -- long before I ever took all this damn medicine. But, wow, it's certainly been painful this year!

Rich and I got into another discussion about the pain we've each been feeling in the area of the butt. Seriously, I can't express how painful (and constant) this is. Interestingly enough, when we talked it through today -- and he showed me the area of his pain -- I think we just might be talking the same exact pain! He'd mentioned the Psoas muscle (he's been researching this quite a bit). I looked it up and discovered the iliopsoas group, which are two muscles: The psoas major and the iliacus.

Anyway, Rich might be on the money here. I'm going to do further research to understand this better. The constant pain is really wearing on me, I have to say...

I had a lovely chat (via iMessage) with Adeena tonight. I love her so much!

Thinking about vacation week, which is coming on us very quickly!!! Can't wait.

Well, time for bed!

Comments 
June 24, 2015 (Wednesday) 09:55 am (UTC)
Glad to hear that your staff retreat went well. It sounds like everyone enjoyed it a lot. I am so sorry that you are in so much pain still. I am not sure that it will ever be over for you. I worked on cleaning a little in my bedroom today. Also did some wash and folded two loads. Need to do more.
Get rest both of you and hope I may be able to see you this week-end.
June 24, 2015 (Wednesday) 11:37 pm (UTC)
Cool on the exhibit!