Friday, October 20, 2023

Life Update: Our Summer 2023

Hello and Happy Friday!
Bunny here with a life update and why we have been MIA lately!
We have put over 12,000 miles on the car this summer!
So May 26th we left home for a trip to New York City, the Taylor Swift Concert at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey plus a little trip up the East Coast to Vermont and back to work

the Fan Expo in Philly!

So on the way to NYC, Jillian put in for 2 Broadway show lotteries, Sweeney Todd, starring Josh Groban, and Six: The Musical. That little lucky girl won both! So we were able to score $30 tickets for those shows normally over $150 each for the cheap seats!

We also went to the Museum to see the Taylor Swift Exhibit of her amazing costumes.
We only had 1 day in NYC but we made it count for sure!

The Taylor Swift concert was just unreal, so well planned, and she is just an amazing entertainer and musician. Three solid hours of performing, and like David Harbour of Stranger Things and other shows,  said...when does she take a bathroom break? Her costumes for the Eras Tour were just stunning! We also just saw the concert film and... WOW!

Off to Plymouth, Massachusetts the next day by way of Westerly Rhode Island, a darling quaint sea side town with a great cafe, The Cooked Goose! We got to see Plymouth Rock ~ just a plain rock with a million dollars of wrought iron over it! 

Then in Boston we did the Freedom Trail, which was so fun to see a lot of our country's history right in front of us, including the Paul Revere house, the USS Constitution and Faneuil Hall among other historic places. After Boston we toured the town of Salem, Massachusetts, and got THE BEST bagels there!!!

Off to Concord, New Hampshire for the night as we were going to Norwich, Vermont to the King Arthur Baking Company. It has been on my Bucket List for a long time!
Got some goodies there and headed south to Philly, we went through Rhinebeck, New York where we stopped by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum and Samuel's Sweet Shop which is a candy store owned by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Paul Rudd (two actors) ~ Jillian knows these things that I do not! 

Got to Philly for the night and started working the Fan Expo Philly the next day. It is a Comic Con. I was with voice of Naturo, Maile (pronounced Miley) Flannigan, she was the nicest and so funny, as was her wife, Lesa! Jillian was honored to work with Hayden Christensen aka Darth Vader from the Star Wars series and Joseph Quinn, aka Eddie Munson from Stranger Things...the one man who put Jillian on this crazy Comic Con journey as her dad and her went to the Fan Expo in Toronto last year just to see HIM!!! I did the SSAT Stamp show in Hamburg, New York while they were off having fun and meeting Joe!

After Philly...
Then we were home for 2 days and headed off to Dallas to work the Fan Expo Dallas but pulling the trailer as we also did the Great American Scrapbook Show in Arlington Texas! Thank you to those who attended and purchased from our booth! 

In Dallas, I worked with Alex Organ, a voice actor (super sweet as was his wife, Jenny) and Jillian was the guest liaison lead for Joseph Quinn again!!! She loved every minute of it!
Then we had three days before show set up in Arlington so we went to the Magnolia Silos, saw the Stockyards in Fort Worth ~ it was really hard not bringing home a beautiful pair of cowboy boots! So many choices! and we did the  JFK tour of the 6th Floor Book Depository. If you are ever in Dallas, it is a must see and yes, you will have tears, but so worth it.
For information see this link:

After the show in Arlington...
We headed home and dropped the trailer in Collinsville, Illinois at a storage facility for a month, to save 8 hours of gas to home and back again as in July we did the Rubber Stamp Events Collinsville Stamp Show. 
Within that month before the Collinsville Stamp Show, we were off to work the Denver Fan Expo! There I worked with Richard Horvitz who is a voice actor and his wife Kristen. Both again so sweet and kind to me. I have really been blessed with the guests I get to work with. Jillian was with Shameik Moore, the voice of Miles Morales from Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
While in Denver, visited Estes Park, Colorado ~ Such a quaint and beautiful town, including The Stanley Hotel which was inspiration for Stephen King's book, The Shining.
We went to the Rocky Mountain National Park which was just breathtaking!
Headed home after the Expo for a week. I was so ready for my own bed!

(The Stanley Hotel is absolutely gorgeous!)

Sad news: we lost our little Yorkie girl, she had stopped eating other than Chicken Sam would hand feed her. He took her to the vet while we were in Texas, but the bloodwork didn't show anything out of the ordinary, but we think she might have had a stroke on her last day. I was glad Jillian and I were home when she passed as it was hard enough on Sam to lose her. Him having to handle it alone would have been much worse. We cherish the 10 years we had with Izzy, she was 4 when we rescued her and her brother, Mo.  We buried her in our upper flower bed and planted a Knock Out Rose on her grave which is thriving. We go up most nights to water it and take "The Boys" (Angus, our Yorkie poo and Mo) with us. When they see Sam with the water jug, they go running to the door. We miss her soooo much and they are always looking around for her. Chewy even sent us a sympathy card and a beautiful floral bouquet.

The next week we left a day early to head to Paducah, Kentucky where Hancock's of Paducah, a HUGE fabric store is as well as the Nation Quilt Museum. Both were lots of fun and so inspiring too!
then north to Collinsville and grabbed the trailer which was unharmed and set up for the Collinsville show. It was a great show, loved meeting new and current customers. It was in a very nice convention center.
Headed home, with the trailer this time! To our own beds for 2 weeks!!! 
Then we headed to Cincinnati for Stampaway USA for the first weekend in August. It is a large stamp show that people from many states attend. Thank you to everyone who came to see us there!
That was our last Stamp Show for the year. Trying to get her health to a better level.

Then the next weekend as a family, Sam, included, we worked Steel City Con which is a more local comic con in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. I got to work with Jim Steranko who is a Marvel Comic book artist on Friday, Warwick Davis, from the Star Wars and Harry Potter Movies on Saturday and Marisa Tomei on Sunday. Warwick's wife was there as was his crew of handlers, They could not have been more kind and Warwick was a hoot! You know the quiet type that when he talks you listen as it is good or funny! Honored to work with him! Marisa was so sweet as was her agent she had with her.
I was taking selfies for her and she stopped and said "Hi, I am Marisa, and you are?" Then called me by name anytime she needed something!  Jillian was like "Mom, an Oscar winner KNOWS  your name!!!"
Jillian had the pleasure of working with Caleb McLaughlin aka Lukas from Stranger Things (she gets lucky that way working with all the Stranger Things actors/actresses!) Sammy was with David Faustino, who is most famous for playing Bud Bundy in Married with Children. Jillian also got to work with both of them on Friday. They both had a great time this weekend. David is just hilarious as I got to meet him too! Caleb told me I had "raised an amazing daughter!" which made my day!!!

So while in Cincinnati, I learned of the All Ohio Quilt Shop Hop! Well...I love me some great fabric and love to sew, that was my first love, I was NEVER paper crafting because of my love of sewing and machine embroidery...then Jillian came along and changed that ~ happy she did! BUT I want to get back to sewing. She can sew, did 4-H for years, but stopped sewing once that was over. NOW this hop has inspired her to start again and I (Bunny) am THRILLED!!!

The end of August, we went to see Rod Stewart in Pittsburgh, which was my Mother's Day gift! 
So since we have been back home, we have been Shop Hopping and finding LOADS of beautiful fabric! We actually finished the Shop Hop which included 60 stores around Ohio. It was so much fun and now we have new favorites to revisit! I ended up purchasing a new Janome 9450 sewing machine in September first one in 28 years! THEN in October purchased a new Embroidery Machine, a Baby Lock Meridian! My Brother ULT2003D is still going strong, but is 20 years old and I wanted a larger hoop area. I have them both set up and going strong!

Crazy mom here, but I am so happy she still wants me with her, I cherish this time as someday she will be off with a family of her own!
That is our summer in a nutshell!!!! It feels good to be home for a while!

Now her health update:  We don't really have one! UGH after 18 months since her diagnosis of hypothyroid and Hashimotos, we still have no answers. It is such a long drawn out process of try this strength of medication, then wait 3 to 6 months for more bloodwork. The strength of her meds have tripled since she first started taking them and we are still seeing no difference in exhaustion and fatigue.
She goes back the end of November. 

Job Update:
Jillian has been looking into jobs, wanted something different to think about since the counterfeits are so time consuming and shows are not as profitable as previous years. We know the craft industry is not an essential, so we totally understand with all the rising costs families have endured in the last couple of years, that our sales will be lower, plus the amount of counterfeits people are purchasing are really hurting the crafting industry. Please DO NOT purchase off of those sites. Costs for shows have risen as well for travel, hotels, gas, and fees. So she started applying for jobs, local and otherwise.

Got a phone interview with a local College as a dispatcher in their Campus Safety department.
Then they called her in for an in-person interview a couple of days later. Then as Sam and I were on a job ~  Yes, I am back helping him most mornings, I get a text that they asked her how quickly could she get her I-9 signed! That is a GREAT sign, no job offer, just come and get the paper work started! YAY!!!
That was a Thursday, after her interview on Wednesday and she started the next Monday. So that was a whirlwind event too! I went to the open house for her department, as they moved offices and her supervisor said, "I knew I wanted her from her phone interview!!!" So that position was to be part time. She was in training for a week and they were saying if a full time position comes open, you need to apply. Well the next week, the new full time person was a no show, no call, so the next day they offered HER the full time position! So she is now a full time dispatcher for the college. Which with her shift times (11 pm to 7 am), she is still trying to find a sleep pattern that works, and with the thyroid issues, there isn't much awake time, hence cuts into her cardmaking and sewing!

So there is our life update. And the reason why we have been MIA on this blog!
Thank you for joining us and checking it out, we sincerely apprecaite it.
We are so blessed to have Lisa and her wonderful creations every week!
Bunny & Jillian


phylliszimm said...

Thanks for catching us up. I have been wondering why Jillian didn’t have a booth at the Hamburg or Syracuse show. Praying the drs can figure the meds out soon. My family had a rough medical year also. But things are looking better now. Take care.

Lee said...

Take good care! Praying for you!