I wake up to squawks, and chirps, occassionally a buzz, every morning. As I wend my way toward my beloved home coffee pot, I spy a coterie of feathered friends, having a nosh, under our bird feeder. 2 families of Canadian geese, and their combined offspring, have made our yard their summer home. The goslings are cute, and look like cornish game hens as they are just covered in down, not quite feathers yet. The parents communicate in non verbal terms: warning them, corralling them, and telling them to get on the chow line. A lot like how I raised my twins I suppose.

The chimney swifts dart all over the place, zooming in to eat whatever they can find, and the juvenile squirrels are enjoying the buffet as well. The flowers are in full blossom. I cut roses and put in a bud vase on occasion, you know, to get fancy. After drinking my coffee, i wander over to our huge garden, praying that things are growing and not being eaten by whatever pest du jour is making the local 6 o'clock news.

Eventually, I must go on to the grueling task of designing more pieces that will entice my wholesale buyers, as well as organize for an upcoming retail show. Oh, and get my store ready for visitors and classes this summer, oh, and get pictures done, new slides, applications, taxes, oy. I am going back to bird watching. And my coffee.

I am currently in a thrilling position of biting off more than I can chew. Once again, a miracle must take place, and sadly, I do not walk on water. Jesus must take the wheel here. And his boy Buddha, and their pals Shiva and Moses.

The miracle is that I must simultaneously pack all of my store orders and ship out by Monday, dance a jig at the venerable American Craft Council show in St. Paul, pack up a kit for a new rep, all tagged and happy, and to top off, put together a killer collection of baubles for the Metropolitan Opera. I am barely out of bed from the flu.

People often ask me how I manage a household, travel to far flung US cities, do upscale craft/art shows, fill orders, pay bills, and keep sane. The secret is the bumblebee. Yes, the buzzing, bustling busy creature pollinating, making honey, tending to larvae variety. We have a few things in common. Bumblebees dance and hum or sing to communicate to the others in the hive. When I do a show, I am out in front buzzing to customers, flashing baubles, and giving a "show" of my wares. My message can be construed as ideas or fantasies. Basically, better your life by wearing my work! Bee glamorous! Bee noticed! When i was in my booth in Atlanta, a very humdrum gal bought a few pieces. I wondered why she chose not to wear dentures that day, but no matter, I did my dance and sang my song, and off she flew, baubles in hand.

Bees are very industrious. They do not have tech. They do have triage instincts. Do what is important and vital first. Ok, so the hive might be messy, but the flowers are happy. That is your job so do it without complaint. A little nectar of the gods never hurt, but only after work when the larvae are asleep.

The most important thing is one must simply "bumble." I am not great at tech, but i bumble through. I do not have the time nor energy to do a ton of work and plow through orders like i used to. So i bumble through, and leave time over the weekends or evenings to get a head start in the studio. The store will reopen eventually, when i finish bumbling through my ACC show. And while bumbling through life, I will always remember to sing a little song and dance a little dance.

And here we are again, another wonderful trade show! Actually, I LOVE Philadelphia. I love the people, the food (I am looking at you Reading Terminal Market), and the gritty nature of it all. Yes, I still can't understand the lingo too well, but honestly, everything there is so utterly livable. It is, by my NYC standards, an affordable place to have a studio, and really be a part of their burgeoning arts scene. There are great shops, opened by 20 somethings, and old timers running pizza parlors and shoe shine shops. Seriously, what is not to like? Here are some of my favorite things in the rough gem of a city:

1. Pretzels, made with butter, made in front of you by the nice Mennonite ladies.

2. Apple Dumplings made by the nice Amish people.

3. Murals galore.

4. Mosaics galore.

5. How about that Mutter Museum? (Not for the squeamish!) World renown for the intense ick factor.

6. Nicest people in the world-just do not discuss politics or teams and you won't need pepper spray.

7. Reading Terminal Market. Do not diet, just give in to temptation.

8. The fact that by just looking a certain direction at a certain statue at the top of city hall, it looks kind of well, just go look.

Here is some weird and wonderful lingo that I will translate:

1. wooter/water

2. spigot/faucet

3. Cawfee/coffee

4. Crowns/crayons

5. Shtreet/street

6. Mac Machine/Atm

7. Hoogie/ Sub aka Hero aka Grinder

8. Yooz, as in all a yooz/plural designation

9.tals/towels

No, I am not fond of Cheesesteaks, nor am I a sports fan, but I am and will always be grateful for this wonderful crazy city that enabled me to grow my business and raise my kids. It is truly the city of brotherly love.