This is a week of great excitement and activity as we prepare to leave
for the convention
in Kingsport, Tennessee. I’m looking forward to seeing my “extended
family” and hopefully to meeting some new friends, too. I’m
having trouble deciding how to dress for the dinner dance this Saturday
evening. As you know, we’re having a ’50’s theme,
and I don’t know whether to go as the good-girl Sandy from Grease
or the bad-girl Sandy. I guess it will be a surprise! I plan to have
great pictures to show you next week.
Ruth Miller of Kitten's Korner Gift Shoppe visits with Pat in Mathews.
This past Friday Ruth Miller of Kitten’s Korner Gift Shoppe came
all the way from White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, to my Distribution
Center in Mathews to have me sign prints and originals purchased at
her show the weekend before. The Distribution Center is not open to
the general public, and it isn’t set up for walk-in retail. So,
the pictures you see of it are not glamorous at all. It just so happens
that this week I have two pictures taken at the Distribution Center
to show you, one of me with Ruth and one of me with a group of local
school children. Although we aren’t open to the public, dealers
are welcome to visit and bring things for me to sign, and we make an
exception for special education groups and art students from local schools.
The students who visited me earlier this morning are a terrific bunch
of kids from Thomas Hunter Middle School here in Mathews. The students
were from Tammy Turner’s MR/Autistic Class. While the Mathews
County Public School System is very small, it is also progressive and
has adopted a program of community involvement and community-based instruction
for its Special Needs children. Ms. Turner scheduled this field trip
to familiarize the students with the career opportunities that may be
available to them in the area in which they live. It also gave the students
an opportunity to demonstrate their social skills, which were excellent!
The students enjoyed a tour of our facility and then had cookies and
Students from Thomas Hunter Middle School tour the distribution
center in Mathews.
The highlight of my weekend was meeting my daughter Ginny and grandson
Picco in Hampton on Saturday. Picco was participating in a competition
sponsored by The Technology Student Association (TSA), a national non-profit
organization devoted exclusively to the needs of elementary, middle,
and high school students with a dedicated interest in technology. TSA’s
mission is to prepare students for the challenges of a dynamic world
by promoting technological literacy, leadership, personal growth, and
The children at this event were very eager to learn and demonstrate
their skills and treated one another wonderfully. I know that some of
them were learning different, and I am grateful that there are programs
like this available in which they can participate and show their creativity
and strengths and be successful. Such programs are so good for our young
people, particularly the learning different. They build confidence and
self-esteem and foster the desire to learn. In so doing, TSA and other
programs like it also enrich our overall education system and society
Pat has thumbs-up for Picco's win at the TSA competition.
I was thrilled when Picco won 1st place in Communications and 3rd in
Graphic Design. Picco’s task was to design a business card, letterhead,
and newsletter. Finalists then had an on-site task of creating a poster.
Picco was just as thrilled as I was but partly for a different reason.
He knew that his winning was a reflection on his advisor, who had spent
so much time with him as a volunteer, and he wanted to win for his advisor,
too. In spite of that, Picco didn’t attend the awards ceremony
the next day. He had a soccer game, and he knew that his soccer coach,
also a volunteer, was depending on him to be there for the team. I am
very proud of Picco, not only for winning but also for respecting his
Well, that’s all for this week. I have to go pack for Tennessee!