Not a hugger

Have you ever had one of those moments, an event actually, where you experience something completely and totally amazing and you want to share about it with everyone but when you sit down nothing coherent comes out?  All of your thoughts are crashing about, fighting to be the first in line.  And you’re just left saying things like…..

“It was awesome!  It was just so awesome!  Really, really, really….. just awesome!”
(I was told this weekend that “awesome” was an abused descriptive word and that we shouldn’t use it anymore.)

Coming away from the Arkansas Women Bloggers University Conference was like that for me.

I cannot sum up what this weekend means to me other than it has almost done the impossible….. It has made me open to the idea of hugging.  If you know me.  If you really and truly know me then you know that the phrase “touchy-feely” is not at the top of my list of characteristics.  Honestly it’s not even on the list.  Not even in the ink in the pen that might write the list.  But each year these women–this group of creative, supportive, beautiful, funny women make me open to the idea of a hug.  At least for the weekend “hugging” is on my list.

A list that also includes:

Laughing loudly

This was accomplished on many occasions by myself and others much to the detriment of those around us including but not limited to one would be Tevya from Fiddler on the Roof.

Dancing Spontaneously

The lobby music at the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas was just so wiggle worthy!

Occasional outbursts of childish abandonment

When you give a room full of bloggers and endless supply of rubber bands in all shapes and sizes, there is no way that seriousness can hold any ground.

But the biggest lesson that AWBU teaches me is that I am not an island.  As much as I want to be the hermit curmudgeon living in the woods, this community pulls me in like a tractor beam.  And I am powerless to fight it.  Nor do I really want to.

Dang it!


Here we go again: Arkansas Women Bloggers University

I’m excited!


It’s time for Arkansas Women Bloggers University!

Follow all the fun as the Arkansas Women Bloggers descend on Rogers, Arkansas for an exciting weekend of community, classes, and crazy fun!

Check out my post with the hashtag #AWBU on my Instagram & Twitter accounts.

I’m going early for the Taste Arkansas sponsored Foodie Friday event “The Abundant Bounty of Arkansas” so you better believe there will be some good eats!

I am also joining in the Handmade Marketplace again this year.

Crocheted dishcloth

So I am frantically making completely prepared with all my crafty creations. (Confession: I may have just crocheted a cover for a coffee tin. It’s possible that this train just went off the rails)

Up on the roof

I really do not mind being a deer season widow.  Most Saturdays I’m able to wake up with the whole bed as my domain and a full pot of coffee already hot and ready in the kitchen.  And there’s usually a child up and moving around that can ferry a cup in my direction
But I’m never one to stay in bed long.  These lovely cool mornings call me to don my morning attire and head out to the garden.   Although production has slowed  down some, there are still peas and peppers and the occasional cucumber.  
This morning our fig tree caught my eye.  Being one of the varieties of fruit trees we inherited when we moved here, it is really in need of trimming back.  Something I don’t plan on being timid about once we have our first cold snap.  So the fig tree is quite large and very close to the roof of our carport.  I’ve already made a batch of fig jam from earlier harvests but there is a recipe for a fig tart I’ve been wanting to try from the P. Allen Smith cookbook I won at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference.
I had noticed that there seemed to be quite a few very plump and ripe figs at the very top of the tree.  I have a very nice A-frame ladder but it still doesn’t let me reach those figs up at the tippy top.  So it was on this morning that Ben and David had left for the woods and Luke was deeply involved in saving the world one Minecraft block at a time and Phoebe was still comatose that I decided to climb on the roof and pick the elusive fat figs.
Now I am an experienced climber.  When I was a kid there wasn’t a tree on our property I hadn’t scaled and memorized the perfect path for reaching the top.  But one does notice, as an adult climbing a tree, that weight is one element of the equation that you think about a lot more than when you were a kid.  I should confess that my ladder was a tad short thus requiring me to stand on the very very top.  You know, well past the step that clearly says, “DO NOT STAND ON THIS STEP!”  But by this time I had a firm grasp of the edge of the roof and could easily lay my upper body on to it.  At this point I realized my next move needed to be very carefully executed or I would knock the ladder over pushing off.  Once on the roof my cautious factor went up a few notches because I didn’t have my phone and if I did get stuck up here or worse yet fall I wasn’t really sure anyone inside would hear me.
The pitch  of the roof isn’t very steep so moving around wasn’t hard but I was careful and scooted about on my rear lest I get to careless up on the roof.  The great thing about fig trees is they are very flexible.  I comforted my fear of falling with the fact that if I were to loose my footing I could grab a branch and it would act as a bungee cord on my plummet  towards the ground.
But I was lucky and managed to pick a half basket of figs before I decided to head back.  I stayed up on the roof for a bit.  One, because it was just so pretty.  I wished I had my phone so that I could have taken pictures.  The sun was just coming through the tree tops and the wind was breezy.  Two, I wanted to really plan out my decent.  Just as I was careful to not knock the ladder over on my way up I was going to have to be doubly careful going back down without being able to really see where I was going.  I needed my foot to hit the apex of the A-frame spot on so as not to leave myself stranded or worse yet dangling from the edge Christmas-Vacation-Style. 
This feat took no less than 5 tries.  I will admit it was beginning to make me sweat a little each time I’d try to gauge my step and the ladder would tip and sway.  And all of a sudden the trip down was seeming a lot higher than the trip up.  But finally, with a bendy fig branch in my grasp as my safety line, my foot made perfect contact with the ladder.  I was never so glad to be climbing back down to earth.  Each step closer the pounding in my ears diminishing.
With my figs of course.