This morning I got to volunteer at the Hays House. It’s an amazing facility here in Boise – you can read more about them and the great works of the Idaho Youth Ranch here. I contacted them originally a few weeks ago about bringing in cookie blanks and putting together a decorating party for the kids. They were cautiously enthusiastic – I think they are waiting to see how today actually went.
I brought four batches of cookie blanks, a rainbow of icing in squeeze bottles and pastry bags and boxes and bags of colored sugar sprinkles. Some of the kids were on break, so we (luckily) had a small crew - otherwise I WOULD have run out of cookie blanks in about 10 minutes! I totally underestimated how many we would need.
I got to work with three young teens, one girl and two boys – all three polite and sweet and super helpful. They helped me carry my boxes of stuff in and out, thought to ask if they should wash their hands (which I didn't even think of) and they all three made more cookies for their friends and mentors than they made for themselves.
They were pretty shy at first but they got braver as we decorated. They wanted to know whether I had kids or not. I said no, but I’ve got a puppy! I showed them the photo of LaLa on my iPad and we talked a little about adopting a dog. Some talked about missing their families and their excitement about seeing them soon. They wanted to know why I was volunteering and if I would come back. I said because it’s fun and yes of course!
They did beautifully with very little direction. And they liked the bagged icing better than the icing in the little squeeze bottles – I think because the squeeze bottle tips were too wide.
I showed them how to use the tools and a few icing techniques and they were off. The variety of design, color mixing and creativity was amazing – their first time out they were pros!
After we cleaned up (plastic table cloths rule!), they all thanked me nicely and one even asked if she could give me a hug. It made me tear up a little bit, she was so sweet and earnest!
Afterward I stopped by the IYR offices and dropped off some extra cookies for them to try and since I had an hour to kill, I went to Cash & Carry and did some pricing. Great store – pop by if you get a chance – it’s fun just to browse.
I got the blog live this morning just before leaving for the Hays house. I was SO CLOSE yesterday, this morning it only took 10 minutes and BOOM – you got a live blog BABY! Seeing it there, with the domain working and all the pages loading and the links and forms working – absolutely beautiful feeling!
SQUARE SPACE UPDATE
I figured out where I went wrong: When you pay for the service, MAKE sure you have selected the most recent template / site that you are working on – otherwise, like me, you paid for one of your old icky draft sites that is nowhere near ready to go. I did this by clicking on the “Welcome” e-mail from Squarespace that had the link to the first crappy site I created. I just assumed I would be signing up for the service, not for the specific template so I clicked and signed up, just like that, easy peasy.
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy peasy to undo it if you’ve selected wrong like I did. There’s no way to switch the payment to the other template. You are stuck and there’s no easy way out. Their advice: Cancel the payment and create a new payment account for the other site.
I not only did this once, I did it twice… The second time I paid for an early version of the current template site that I F’ed up and abandoned. Unfortunately the home pages looked EXACTLY the same and I didn’t notice the name of the template in the list that was selected was the old version.
Long story short – when developing multiple sites on the fly, either remove the old sites from your admin area or add this text on the home page of the sites you are no longer enamored with – put in big bold letters “DO NOT USE” – that’s the only way I got it to work this morning - basically I had to idiot proof it from myself!
The site being live this morning was such an anti climax – I got it live and left for the Hays house immediately after, so I haven’t felt like the live site was live until I came home and dialed it up on the interweb – and there it was – like magic! Ahhhhhh – very nice…
The cookies for the order came out beautiful. I’m super happy with the colors and sizes and consistency and everything and I loved making them. Fingers crossed they make it all the way to Afghanistan unbroken.
This afternoon when I was choosing a photo to send to Izzy and Harry – so proud to show them the final packaging of my VERY first order - and it hit me like a fist in my heart. What I REALLY wanted to do, I could not do. I wanted so much to share this with my sister Tisha. This great day volunteering, my first order complete, the cookies so beautiful – the culmination of so many great things.
I know she would have been thrilled…
WRITING ABOUT WRITING
Like I always say: “If nothing else, at least it’s going to be interesting!”
It’s 7:30 pm on Thursday, March 27. I’ve got a glass of Newman’s finest red in hand, I’m reviewing and re-writing a blog post I started on Monday, so that I can post it. Writing wise, it seems to take a couple of passes before I’m ready to post, but man it’s hard to stop.. I can re-read this stuff endlessly (amazingly, I am just so darn fascinating to myself…) and fine tune it, finding a better word, mostly adding descriptive words so it makes more sense and also adding a little more jazziness instead of blah blah blah work work work endless business details.
Attempting to document in the nth degree the amount of time and effort and dedication and research and money and planning, etc. it actually takes, to do this thing WHILE I’m doing it – crazy! Why don’t I do it after? Because it wouldn’t be the same – if I wait, I can clean up my ridiculous idiocy and all the mistakes I know I will make. But somehow, to me this is really what makes this so interesting. What WILL happen? How WILL this all turn out? How much will I SCREW it up? Am I really a COMPLETE idiot?
Probably… But I’m a happy idiot!