October 7th, 2003

charlie 2012 beige

Good News About Marilyn!

Marilyn saw her doctor today. (For an unpleasant and painful exam, I'm afraid.) The very good news is that he really doesn't recommend surgery at this time! Hurray. (Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to offer her support and good wishes during a very difficult time, by the way.)

I have tremendous confidence in her doctor. He's even taken the time to personally call the house to tell her test results in the past. What doctor does that these days?

Well, I suppose on the one hand it would have actually been good for her to have some time off for the surgery. Her schedule recently has been just grueling. The cyst and fibroid both cause her pain and other discomforts, but she's been such a trooper! She never fails to amaze me.

She put in incredible hours since taking on the 'acting Executive Director' role at work. (Again, without the title, which she doesn't care to assume.) Ten hour days with no break -- including for lunch -- are common.

After she finishes up work this coming Saturday she'll have worked 13 days in a row without a day off. I know that's common for a lot of people, but she does have the added stress of being 'in charge' at work right now. Deadlines for budgets are on now. And I'll do an entire separate post regarding the Auction. (Hopefully soon.)

I'm amazingly proud of my sister. She's an accomplished writer who has had some opportunities recently to show off both her writing ability and her outstanding public speaking, as well. (It's rare to find someone who can both write and speak the way she does.)

I don't think she's automatically comfortable doing the schmoozing that's required in her job, but you'd never know it to watch her work a room! She's warm and outgoing and witty (so quick) and fun.

She works hard to stay in shape -- something I certainly can't claim -- and looks fabulous. Deservedly so. She's working out right now as I'm sitting here writing this, as a matter of fact.

I've watched and listened to her recently as she's been in a position to help others get employment. It's impressive to me. She says that taking those calls and writing those letters of recommendation are humbling to her. That struck me very hard when she said it to me. And it still strikes me now.

She goes out of her way to try and help unemployed people find work. Those who used to work for the organization in the past. (Many were interns or seasonal employees. So there's a huge influx of new people each year.) The good news is that one of the phone calls I happened to be in office to hear was probably very influencial in getting a man we both know a new job. This in spite of the fact that he's had a rather spotty job history since leaving the association.

She deserved this good news about her health, considering how hard she works at staying healthy. Eating right -- even when it's a lot more fun, and a lot easier, not to. Taking vitamins and supplements religiously. Working out. Caring for her dental health even when it's timely and expensive and her skin. Taking great pains to keep her fingernails and toenails healthy and attractive. Spending time on keeping her hair vibrantly healthy and lovely.

It's a lot of work to look good and be healthy. Marilyn is inspirational to many people for the way she manages it. She certainly is to me!

Of course, her appearance is only one part of an amazing package. She's always been incredibly intelligent. But has never, ever flaunted it. (I suspect there are many who have no clue -- and who judge her based on her being a good-looking blond.) She cares about others. She's acted as a mentor to countless individuals. Genuinely cares about the welfare of the association she works for -- and the employees there. (They're always fond of telling me how they know she has their backs. Which is entirely true!)

She and I together as a 'family unit' belong to countless organizations. She gives as generously as we can afford to to numerous charities. Marilyn is no saint -- far from it. She's too much fun for that!

But she's a decent person. An intelligent person. A person I'm fortunate to be related to, who I'd feel lucky just to know if I weren't blessed by having her as my sister.

I'm listening to the squeak of the treadmill as she works out and thinking how incredible it is that she can face it after the pain and discomfort of her exam today. Plus being worn out from this past weekend.

Damn, she's something!

I wish I could be poetic -- a poet I am so not -- here. I wish I could find words to convey what Marilyn is like to those who've never encountered her. Her humor and warmth stand out for me, I guess. But the whole package is very special! Anyway, I'm cheered by her good news. We had expected her to be scheduling her surgery for this coming November. Perhaps it can be put off entirely -- which would be a major blessing. I hope so.

Speaking of which, I'm feeling pretty well recovered now from my own surgery of last January. Now I need to get in and concentrate on regular exercise and toning. My stomach still looks awful from the horrible, large scar. Especially combined with my childhood scar there which runs the opposite direction! (ugh) I started to do a little last week before I got sick. (More about that in a separate entry!)

Marilyn is very encouraging. I know she'll be supportive as always as I get back to working out again. She got us entries for the Shamrock Run next March at the Auction! I'm very excited about that!

Consider me officially in training for that event from here on out!

Hello to everyone, by the way. I'm so behind reading here, very much related to work on the Auction and other RL concerns. I hope you're all doing great!

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charlie 2012 beige

The Auction

I hope I can get my hands on some of the photos from the Auction this year. I didn't even see most of them from last year's event!

It was beautiful! Both Marilyn and I had tears in our eyes when we checked out the dining room just prior to dinner.

Anyway, the two of us started working there -- at the convention center -- Friday evening. And it was hard work. Physically grueling, I mean. Lifting these heavy metal chairs that were stacked (high) on top of one another. Then putting on these very nice chair covers -- a fabulous look, by the way.

We basically had to struggle with every damn chair cover. (sigh)

Then we had to put the chairs into long rows. And move other things around and doing ton of other tasks. Basically taking a very standard and very unlovely room and making it totally beautiful for the event!

We left around 9:30 p.m. that night, thankfully. I was worn out, even so. But many others stayed past midnight. Then we were up and back at it by 7 a.m. on Saturday morning!

It's amazing just how much work there was to do, frankly. And how changed the rooms were by the time we'd finished. (God, I wish I had BEFORE pictures!)

Then we had the rehearsal for the show with the Auctioneer. I was quite impressed with Todd, the Spotter, whom I work closely with during the oral auction. Doug, the Auctioneer, is very attractive -- had the women talking. (smile)

Then it was a dash home to grab a quick bite to eat and rest a tiny bit before getting ready...

The Auction is a total dress affair. Men in tuxes and women in formal gowns, in other words. Marilyn looked just stunning in her black gown with pink chiffon wrap. (The Auction colors this year were black and deep pink.)

I wore slacks again, just as I did last year. Pants suit me far better than a dress or gown, though I tried on several of both. There were a number of women who opted for the dressy pants look. Actually, some women were in shorter cocktail-like dresses, too. I had a see-through blouse that was black with pink roses. Those fabulous long sleeves. Over a spaghetti strap, deep pink top, with black linen slacks.

We both got new shoes for the event, as well. Marilyn had these wonderful black sandals -- oh, how to describe them? And I got a pair of champagne-colored heels. Fancy and lovely! (But ouch. Ouch.)

Far more people attended than last year. And there were far more silent auction items to bid on. Marilyn and I came home with a few lovely pieces, too. (I need to take pictures so I can share!)

We both 'worked the room' hard until time for dinner. (Poor sore feet!) Then I went to my table to work as the official recorder. (Yes, it's somewhat stressful if I'm being totally honest).

Marilyn was at a front table -- appropriate considering her current role in charge at the association.

She never ends up eating at these things. She's both too busy and too wired. She let me eat her dinner -- which was delicious, by the way! I'm surprised I could eat this year -- I was way too stressed out and hyper to do so last year!

The oral part of the Auction seemed less successful than last year from a 'selling' standpoint. But the show was amazing! Our video presentation was moving. (I think I cried every time I saw it, actually!) Note that the song used was "When You Wish Upon A Star," performed by Nsync. Lovely! Our performer (Julianne Johnson, I think) is this remarkable local singer (a black woman) who sang at a coronation for us in the past. She was just amazing!

I got lots of positive attention. (Especially from several men... blush!) But Marilyn was truly the Belle of our 'ball.' (She was shining. Really. And, yes, I'm biased. But it's the truth, even so!)

Then after people had collected the items they'd bid on, it was time for all of us to do the tear-down.

We all dashed to change from glam to grubbies! A relief to get out of our dress shoes for all of us, I suspect. Well, the women, anyway. And as it was mostly women working. (sigh)

I was worried about a couple of the staff women there, both of whom are pregnant. One of them I finally 'ordered' home. (Both she and her hubby were there working their asses off.) She's amazing. Didn't want to go, even though she was clearly exhausted. We finally finished up around 12:30 a.m.

Marilyn and I were home and in bed by 1:30, which I consider pretty damned good! But were we ever worn out. Still, I didn't go to sleep for some time. I was just too wound up!

Then we were up fairly early Sunday morning -- though not like Saturday, thank God! We headed over to the office before 9 a.m.

No one else was there yet, so Marilyn and I headed to get Starbucks. Then back to find Greg (a co-worker). The three of us proceeded to unpack the truck into our warehouse. I was worn out after that.

Marilyn and I drove home via the Portland Marathon route so we could stop and cheer on some of the participants! We both admire the effort so much!

But I was chilled -- not for the first time in several days -- so we got back in the car and headed home.

Rested and then spent the very lovely afternoon taking a long drive and doing some minor shopping.

Spurlged with 'Taco Time' Crispy Meat Burritos -- and Cinnabons! (smile) Okay, we do 'slip' from our diet now and then... (grin)

Then I woke up feeling lousy on Monday morning... But that's for another entry!

All in all I'd say the Auction was a success -- money aside. We did make money for the foundation -- even if it turns out to be less than last year. And this sort of event can't entirely be judged by finances, after all!

The best part is that it's finally over. Big sigh of relief!

(You can see why I admire Marilyn so much when you consider this past weekend as only one small part of her hectic work-week. Aside from the fact that she'll be working through until Sunday with no break. Heavens!)

And our living room has a lovely bouquet of white roses with pink lilies sitting on the coffee table. Nice!

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