Friends! I created two different clubs, at the same time, in my haste to become a proactive, integrated, and contributing member of society. A Gardening and Book Club! Sounds lovely, right? Take my love of the written word and for trying to grow things and share them with people. What could go wrong?
Lessons learned over the last ten days-
Lesson One– don’t start a virtual group and not set up a social media account, information pre-loaded, events planned, and posts scheduled for the next three weeks. As we know, there are 100’s of virtual Book Clubs and Gardening Clubs already available- for every area of the world. To start a new one, you should research each of the established virtual forums, see what has worked, steal their memes, and research the last two years to see what has worked and what has not. I did not do that until this weekend- AFTER I announced the creation of my Alaskan clubs.
Granted, I am on the mend from my battle with COVID that my dogs gave me when they sneezed and didn’t have much energy to do anything but Facebook stalk other virtual clubs. However, this would have been helpful back in December, before I had 50 plus people show interest in the Book and Garden Clubs. I have been up since 2:30 am researching to do a post for each club on National Popcorn Lovers Day and National Chocolate Cake Day. Do you know how much information you get back from Google when you type ‘is popcorn a vegetable?’
Lesson Two- National Seed Swap Day is at the end of the month; a bit of information that I discovered at the end of December which led me down the yellow brick road of creating my Garden Club. However, what I did not plan for was the amount of interest. So, I did not order enough seeds from our local seed shop. How embarrassing is that?!?
If you are going to do a seed swap, knowing the number of persons you are sending seeds to is beneficial! Also, pre-plan how you are going to send the seeds! Are you going to add a cute little pamphlet on each variety along with its history? Then, take my advice- start printing three months before the seed swap. Ordering the shipping envelopes and cute little garden plant tags from Amazon? Please don’t do it before a major winter storm that halts the mail from being delivered for two weeks.
Not thinking that there would be much interest, I had initially planned on six different seeds- three flowers, two herbs, one vegetable. That is a lot of seeds! I have never seen so many seeds in my life. I am at a point where I am pretty sure that random flowers are going to start sprouting from my office floor because of how many I have dropped. Separating seeds from a large group into smaller seed packets has caused me to get a crick in my neck that burns and my fingers are stiff. And I haven’t even received my second shipment yet!
Lesson Three- When you bring a group of people together for a book club, with only a few that have ever actually met in person, across a state the size of the lower 48- have a plan on what books you are going to read for at least the first three months!
I stumbled across a wonderful, lighthearted, feel-good book a couple of days before pushing the word out about the Book Club. It is entitled ‘I just want to pee alone.’ Whether male or female, I believe that every parent or spouse understands the statement- ‘I just want to pee alone!’.
I have two grown children, one high schooler, one granddaughter, two dogs, and a husband- you think at this point of my life I would have the luxury of peeing or showering alone, but alas, that has not yet happened. I am at a point in my relationship where my husband believes it is time to go ‘number two’ when I have jumped into the shower. My dogs think that I need protection and lie right along the edge of the shower so that when it is time to get out, I have to hop over them both, dodge my husband playing his game on the toilet, and pray that I can make it to my towel in one piece.
I would love to pee alone!
Back to the book! Because of my job, I have the luxury of offering the first ten people who signed up a free copy. Within an hour, 22 people had signed up. I ignored the time stamp when everyone clicked the button, so I ordered the first ten people their copies and sent them on their way. THEN I looked at the time stamp, crap! I got the wrong ‘first’ ten! So I had to go back and order another set. But by then, I felt like it wasn’t fair to the other two, so I ordered them a copy also. Now, I need to explain to my boss why instead of ten books, I Amazon’ed 22. Maybe he won’t notice?
A majority of the book club members have their copy, are in the midst of reading it, and are ready to start talking about their thoughts. But, unfortunately, I am still pacing my living room, waiting on the Amazon delivery person to show up with my copy. I haven’t even planned Febuarary’s book yet. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can suggest?
Someone messaged me last night and asked, ‘What is the theme of our book club?’ Theme? What do you mean by theme? Is that something that I was supposed to pre-determine?
Lesson Four- when running two virtual clubs, maintaining your blog and a website, trying to write a book, attempting to get back into shape, running a household, and being a productive mother- schedule yourself nap times. Notice that I forgot to add- and work? I have decided I could put that on the back burner for now. You know- priorities!
It is now 5:00 am. My coffee pot just beeped at me. It is on a four-hour timer, and it is telling me that it is time for a fresh pot. I have just enough time to make a new pot, wash the dishes from dinner last night, and get in a quick smoke break before I start on my next task of the day.
What are your thoughts on starting a sewing club?