Bob and I had a wonderful morning. We hosted 26 Newcomers for a tour of the Greenville Woodworkers Guild. We brought about 20 items for “Show and Tell” so they could see what we have made and how we have progressed in three years. We split the group into three sections and each section got a guided tour of the Education Center. The pres. of the Guild also gave a brief presentation about the Guild. Bob and I talked about how we got into woodworking and our projects. Afterward about 14 of us all went out to lunch.
We heard many good comments about the event. Many said it exceeded expectations and they were surprised how big it was, all the classes and training available and the complete selection of equipment they could use. Bob and I also thought it went very well and it was a lot of fun.
You can visit the Guild on line at: http://www.greenvillewoodworkers.com/
Thursday we went to the Biltmore and Friday night we went to a jazz and wine festival fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald house. It was outside in downtown Greenville. Another perfect weather night – 70 and clear skies. We brought our comfy chairs and got a good seat to watch the bands. There were 6 wine distributers doing wine tastings, hor devoures and a dessert bar so plenty to eat and drink. It wasn’t an inexpensive event so wasn’t real crowded. I would guess a few hundred people. One of the great things about the size of Greenville events is that we usually run into some one we know and also people are friendly so you can strike up a conversation with strangers. Of course a few wine tastings help loosen people up a little. That’s exactly what happened and we had so much fun with new and old friends.
The first group was the Furman Jazz combo with a singer. We were eating and drinking so they didn’t get our full attention but what I did hear I liked.
This jazz singer was fabulous. She sang in The Color Purple movie. Good stage presence and a great voice.
While the singing was going on there was a painter creating a painting. Can’t say it is a painting I would hang in my house (especially not for $4000) but it was fun to watch him. The painting is titled “The Color Purple”.
The headliner was a trumpet player and we didn’t like him as much so left after a couple songs. We had already been there quite a few hours and neither one of us has a great attention span. Best of all in 20 minutes we are home!
Saturday was a Newcomer pontoon boat trip on beautiful Lake Jocassee, one hour from us. We drove with our good friends G. Ann and Al. We were on this man made lake last fall. It is 75,000 acres with 75 miles of shoreline and less than 15 homes so it is very natural. You have this gorgeous lake surrounded by the tree covered mountains and it is full of tiny little wooded islands. Parts of the lake are 400 feet deep. There were 40 of us on 4 pontoons and we had a 4 hour boat ride. We brought lunch and beverages along. Once again the weather was perfect, 75 and sunny. There are 15 waterfalls going into the lake. We saw three of them and some of them were double waterfalls. Here are a couple photos and more are at https://picasaweb.google.com/fchoban/JocasseeMay302011?authkey=Gv1sRgCNj1pr_yqc2sHg&feat=directlink
Sunday we powerwashed the screen porch and lower deck and got rid of all that yellow pollen. It looks so nice. Then we relaxed the rest of the day.
It’s hard to believe that last week at this time we were snowed and iced in and today it was sunny and 60 and all the snow is gone. After a week or more at 20’s and 30’s this temperature feels really warm.
Monday was a trip to the dentist to get three fillings done, December was a new crown and February will be another new crown and another filling.
Yesterday was our monthly Newcomers coffee. This time it was at a beautiful club house for one of the high end developments. We had 65 ladies attending. I have been working on an intenet based bulletin board for members to use to sell or give away items, network for activities, etc. and I announced that to the group. I’m really pleased how it turned out. I know it will take awhile for it to take off but that’s ok. My job as technology person ends in May so the next person can take care of it.
Today I went on a Newcomers trip to Christ Church in downtown Greenville. It is a beautiful 180 year old historic church. We listened to a concert with their pipe organ and two flutists. Never been to anything quite like that. They have a different concert each Wed. during the winter. There were about 100 people at the concert, not all Newcomers. After that a soup and sandwich lunch at the church. We were supposed to have a tour of the church and cemetery but our guide had a family emergency so no tour.
Bob and I start our OLLI class tomorrow, early history of SC, and are really looking forward to that. We have had this professor before and he is very good. Next week we have a Chef’s Tour of restaurants in downtown Greenville and expect that to be a special event. We have had the tour guide give us three tours of downtown Greenville so know the history part will be good and the restaurants are the best ones in Greenville so the food sampling should be good. This Sat. we are going out for dinner to a seafood place with friends we met through Newcomers who live near us.
Bob didn’t feel so good the last few days so was glad to feel good enough to go swimming today.
Smoky has a new sleeping place we aren’t very happy about. He thinks it is nice and warm and cozy to sleep on the top of our stereo receiver. It has many vent holes in it and he blocks air flow and sheds fur into the device. How does he even find these places?
Sabrina was up extra early this morning but I started petting her and she went back to sleep from 5:45 to 7:45. I’m kind of tired today but my 2 hour nap helped.
December started with the annual Newcomers Holiday party at the Poinsett Club, an exclusive private club in downtown Greenville. About 100 people attended and we enjoyed a nice lunch (crab cakes) while listening to a pianist play great music and watching a fashion show of models wander through the tables. Even Bob enjoyed the fashion show. I’m pretty sure he has never seen one that wasn’t models of lingerie!
Last Saturday we went to Cocktails R Us, a smaller group of about 20, so it was easy to talk with people. Monday I went to get a crown for one of my teeth, not so much fun but on Monday night we had the Woodworkers Guild holiday party at the new guild. About 300 people attended. Check out the new place, the party and entertainment and the 2000 toys they made again this year for local kids. Click to see party.
On Tuesday I had a board meeting/Christmas party and that night we went to the Boston Brass and Brass All Stars Holiday Concert at the Peace Center. WOW. I’m not a big fan of Christmas and just couldn’t get excited about going to the symphony to listen to Christmas tunes. Last year we went to Manheim Steamroller and that was ok. Lots of brass holiday music was just perfect. They had a 12 piece brass band, 5 piece kettle drums, regular drums and a piano. As a tribute to Dave Brubeck, one of my favorite jazz musicians, they took the famous Take Five rhythm and applied it to a traditional Christmas tune. Very strange but fun. The 12 days of Christmas was very, very good and the closing Jingle Bells left us feeling very cheerful. And did I mention the tickets were $5?
Thursday the Nantucket Seafood Grill opened just for the Newcomers group for lunch and what a treat that was. We figured this would be our best option for getting an affordable meal there. The clam chowder and trout were excellent. We also got to see about 10 beautifully decorated trees that are part of the Festival of Trees celebration in downtown Greenville.
Sunday afternoon we are going to Centre Stage to see The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
The rest of the month is much quieter. Wed. for my birthday we will go see Harry Potter and out for dinner on Wed. or Friday at High Cotten. We will go when they have live jazz playing. We are invited out for brunch on the weekend. Also want to see the new Narnia movie sometime during the holidays. Ordered Bob’s gifts on line and have a few to get in the mail next week. Our gift list is very short. Can’t forget to get some new toys for the kitties. They actually wear some of them out.
Last Wednesday, a day where it poured rain all day, we went to the beautiful historic Poinsett Club for a Newcomers Holiday Luncheon. The club, originally a home built around 1925, is stunning. It is about 40,000 sq. ft, including two newer additions, a ballroom where we had our luncheon and three floors of beautiful decorated small and medium sized dining rooms. What a mansion it must have been when it was built. We visitied with our new friends and at our table had a lively discussion about all kinds of local issues. The facilities definitely were 5 star. The food was just average.
Monday night we went with our neighbors Vickie and Ed to the annual Greenville Woodworking Guild Holiday party. There were a couple hundred guests there. We had turkey dinner with all the fixings and then wonderful entertainment provided by the head of the John Campbell Folk School. The school has 850 craft, art, writing classes every year. Some for a week and some a weekend. You can stay on site. A very well educated historian, musician, storyteller and craftsman who told folk stories and played old folk ballad music. Very Upcountry SC and charming.
For me the biggest part of the evening was to see the 1500 wooden toys that the members have made to donate to 14 children’s groups here in the Greenville area. Is this impressive?
It was pretty emotional to see all these toys and realize the 4000 hours of work that went into making them and think about how many happy children will receive them.
There were many door prizes for the guests (wives). Below are a couple examples. I got a door prize but not one of theses, darn. The man who made these helped Bob sharpen his new tools and taught me a little about wood turning. He and his wife are so nice.
The bowls and ornaments are about 6″. Guess what some of you will get for gifts next year?
On Friday we go to a special Cocktails R Us Newcomers party at a clubhouse in one of the developments and will have a band! We each bring whatever we want to drink and a snack or dessert. I’m actually getting some use out of the three dressy items in my wardrobe!
Saturday morning I have a neighborhood coffee party to attend and weather permitting I think Saturday afternoon we will go to see Travelers Rest Christmas Parade. Sunday we will go to Easley (30 minutes) to see an ice carving exhibit (100 sculptures including an 8000 lb sleigh – that’s not a typo it is 8000 not 800) and then to Pendelton (another 30 minutes) to see Christmas in a historic plantation home, complete with Christmas little skits written from the information in old letters and diaries. Sounds like pretty simple Upcountry holiday events. Hope I can get some good photos to share with you.
My birthday is Tuesday and we might go to Asheville to see the Gingerbread Houses but more likely to downtown Greenville for dinner (have a discount coupon for restaurants there) and to see the Christmas Trees that light up downtown. Supposed to be pretty. Maybe a trip to a museum or art gallery in the afternoon.
Wednesday night we go to Roper Mt. with friends from Newcomers to see the Light Show there and after Christmas we go to see Hollywild Zoo 100 acre light display. I guess we take a trolly through that area.
As you can tell there is lots going on and all of it is quite inexpensive plus we don’t have 3 feet of snow and sub zero temperatures to dress for.
Bob and I have been assembling 8 pens and pencils so as soon as he gets home with a part for the lathe we will start turning. Wish us luck! We have had a few mishaps already.
Just a little of the yummy food people brought.
I hosted the November Greenville Newcomers Coffee at our house on Tuesday. No one could remember doing a coffee in Travelers Rest. Most of these get togethers are south of where I live so this was an opportunity to show off the northern part of Greenville. We didn’t know how many people to expect becasue of the location and Thanksgiving coming soon. Well, we had 50 people! He hospitality chair has everything so well organized. She provides big coffee pots, plates, napkins, coffee and arranges with 8-10 ladies to each bring something. The only thing I had to do was get all our chairs out and iron a tablecloth. It went really well and was a lot of fun.
Of course Tanya saw to it that she was the star of the coffee party. I expected her to go hide but she kept coming out to walk around and check things out, then go sit on the bed and wait for people to come pet her, which they did, and then decided she wanted to be a little cuddley fur ball and snuggled up on my shoulder during the short program where newcomers introduce themself. All cat lovers melted when that happened.
Bob did a great time helping me set up and take down all the chairs. He hid in his workshop during the event! Now his laithe and router table and air filtering system are in place. He can’t sleep at night because he is so excited. Still have the drill press to assemble and are waiting for the ban saw and table saw to be delivered. Yes, you will see photos once he has it all set up.