My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1277: Sometimes Things Just Don't Work Out

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 03-28-2014 11:47 AM 1765 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1276: "Bomb Clycogenesis" Part 1277 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1278: Back to Drawing »

Some things were just not meant to be.

There are times in our lives when we have to make decisions that we don’t care to make. It seems that no matter what we choose, we are going to be unhappy. It is just the way it is.

I am sitting here writing from my usual place this morning. If all went according to plan, we should have been on the road and somewhere in Maine at this point, heading for Saratoga Springs, New York. But as much as we tried, there just seemed to be obstacle after obstacle that were trying to keep us from going.

The first issue was the tires for the cars. You would think that by beginning to work with things three weeks in advance of leaving, it would allow plenty of time to replace them.

We had to wait for the first set we ordered. Then, when they were delivered, they were the wrong size. (Their fault, not ours). Our regular mechanic was leaving last week for his annual vacation. We ordered from the second place and the delivery was delayed from there as well.

By that time, word of the upcoming storm was buzzing, so we decided to use Keith’s winter car – which fared much better in the snow than my Mustang. But that car needed tires as well, so we spent the day Monday choosing tires for it and having them installed.

So much for leaving ahead of the storm.

By Tuesday we had the plan ready. All the materials for the classes were printed, cut and prepped. We even drilled the plaques so that the students wouldn’t have to waste their time on doing something so simple and could do some REAL learning.

We printed enough copies of our new booklet that we had been working on for the show. It was our plan to debut the booklet at the show. It is 50 pages long, full color and was filled with information and articles about the basics of scroll sawing.

We are proud of our booklet. It is a culmination of the class that I hosted on, with the addition of articles, practice projects and other helpful information for someone new to scroll sawing – all in one file. We think it is something that will be beneficial to all newer scroll sawyers, and even those who have been scrolling for a while.

We had a copy prepared for each student, as well as the pattern for the class and even a gift card for our site. We wanted everyone to go home happy and feeling that their class was worth it to them.

We heard that all our classes were full except the late Sunday class, which had two additional spots available. We were told that is typical though because that was when the show winded down and everyone was heading out. They were going to give the two spots away as prizes on Saturday, and we were happy to hear that there was so much interest.

But things happened that were out of our control.

The storm hit, and they are calling it the worst storm here in over ten years. All my hopes and positive thinking couldn’t change that. From dawn to dusk and beyond, we had snow blowing side way and building up. It was unrelenting.

We lost power for only a few hours, but we lost our internet overnight. That meant all of our communication was down. Even then, we spent the time doing our last minute packing in hopes of leaving in the morning. Everything was packed and waiting by the door. We hoped to leave on Thursday morning and still make it in time.

But about 8:30 Wednesday night, my cat Richard got sick. We had him to the vet twice in the past six months with the problem of not being able to go to the bathroom. We don’t know why this was happening to him and have been trying to adjust his diet, but another episode came up. He was miserable, and when he vomited an alarming amount that evening after an hour or so of wailing and crying, I called the vet, despite the storm hoping that there was something that I could do from here to alleviate his pain. It broke my heart.

Fortunately, we found vet last summer who was on call 24 hours. While we knew we couldn’t leave (the snow was over 18” now and we had winds over 100km) the vet called back immediately and told me to try half a baby aspirin to help with the pain and help him relax so he could do his business. We were lucky that our landlord had grand children that visited so she had the baby aspirin on hand.

After another hour or so of me comforting him by gently brushing him (he seemed to like that and it took his mind off his problem it seemed) he fell asleep. When he woke, he was able to pass some waste, although it was difficult for him to do so. It probably let off pressure where he wasn’t in agony anymore and another hour or so later he was able to do so again.

I am sorry for all the information, but it was horrible and traumatic for all of us. Anyone who loves their pet would understand. And those of you who read know how I feel about my own.

We went to the vet the as early as we could. While the storm had since passed and the sun was out, there were still gusts of wind over 75km per hour. Keith cleared the way for the car, and that took him quite a while. In the 30 minute drive to Yarmouth to the vet, the roads were clear, but the gusts of wind were blowing our car from side to side. There were two trucks and a car in the ditch in that 30 or so mile stretch.

The vet checked Rich out and it appeared he was clear for the moment. However, we have medicine to administer for the next several days, as well as a change in diet. We need to watch him to make sure things don’t build up in him, or we will have to look at other options. We are trying new food as well, as it will help things along and blissfully, he seems to ‘not hate’ it (which is good for a cat.)

Bottom line was that it was the last straw in our cap. There was no way we could leave him for a week. There was no one to care for him or watch him or administer his medication. The winds were still howling and by the time we returned from the journey to the vet it was well after noon. On a good day, driving to Saratoga Springs too about 22 hours. That was at a pace of “slightly above” the speed limits. We heard that New Brunswick had been pounded even worse than we had, and that the winds were still an issue there. There were just too many things going against us to head out. We made the difficult decision not to go.

I have never backed out of this type of responsibility in the past. I do pick and choose what shows we agree to do, not because I don’t like to do them, but I try to be realistic as to the circumstances that may arise. Who would have thought that late March would bring this type of storm? Anything less would have been manageable. But this was extraordinary.

The people at the show were wonderfully understanding. So were our friends. It helped make us feel less guilty and better about our decision. But as we looked at the pile of prepped wood and projects and printouts and thought of all the work we put into our presentations, we couldn’t help but feel sad. Keith and I decided we were still going to send the students the gift cards, as well as the patterns and booklets, free of charge. We hope that they will learn from them and make use of them and have some fun.

I will miss seeing all of my friends as well. It would have been wonderful to visit with them in person and enjoy their company. Especially after the long winter. I was going to see my friend Leldon for the first time in 12 years. And I was going to meet Jeanette in person for the first time ever. I can’t even begin to name the others, as there are many.

I am sad and somewhat deflated still. I spent yesterday caring for Richard and resting – and unpacking. But disappointment is part of life and we will go on from here. Hopefully we will be able to try again when we are sure the weather will be a bit better. And seeing Rich once again comfortable and resting is for now the most important thing.

I think the decision we made was the only one we could. Those who matter most really do understand.

Thank you to all of you for being so kind and supportive. We all do appreciate it.

I wish you all a wonderful Friday.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

12 comments so far

View Rick13403's profile


271 posts in 4557 days

#1 posted 03-28-2014 12:53 PM

Good morning Sheila, While I will miss not seeing at the show, you did the right thing for you and your family. You and Keith would have been miserable if you had made the trip and would have been bugging out half way thru the weekend. There will be other shows when everything falls into place. You have my thoughts and prayers for Richard’s complete recovery. There is nothing worst that a sick pet or child. Take care and will see you at the next show.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3972 days

#2 posted 03-28-2014 01:06 PM

Thank you so much, Rick. I can’t tell you how gut-wrenching the decision was. It is terrible being so torn. We both feel so bad about not being able to see everyone. And you know I love teaching. I love when people learn a new skill and it gives me a wonderful feeling to help people discover their own talents.

But yes – I do know in my heart it was the right thing to do. I will continue to try to teach from here, and look forward to what each day brings. I am certain that there will be other times and opportunities.

Thanks as always for your friendship and support. It means so much to both of us.

((HUGS)) Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4765 days

#3 posted 03-28-2014 01:07 PM

Tough call to make but better then being out on the road and then realize it was too bad to continue. Working in emergency services it restores my faith in people when they realize its too harsh to be on the road. I often wonder what people are thinking when they head out, do they even consider that ambulances and such have to travel in the very weather that has caused them to be rolled over in a ditch in a roaring blizzard, that police cars/fire trucks and ambulances don’t get a special dispentation from the weather to allow them to ‘cone get you’ when you call. Sorry for the micro rant. I hope Rich heals from his ailment soon. He looks very much like the first cat we had growing up…we called him Heathcliffe.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View patron's profile


13717 posts in 4393 days

#4 posted 03-28-2014 01:11 PM

.... the best laid plans ….

sad as it is
rich sheila and keith
are safe

.... to scroll again another day ….

find a publisher for that book
it will be a hit for sure

went out yesterday to finish the last 5 trusses
for the shop roof
the winds here were shaking the whole building
the retaining strap had pulled the ground steak loose
the walls flexing and groaning
the trusses swaying overhead

plan B
more bracing more bracing more bracing

maybe today
maybe tomorrow
maybe next week

shop wont do me much good
if i am crushed under the collapsed walls

as my bud says

‘another day in paradise’

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4355 days

#5 posted 03-28-2014 02:10 PM

oh man, so sorry that rich was in such bad pain, and i sure do hope he is going to be well, your loving care brought much comfort to him sheila, in your heart you know there was no option, im sorry your trip was messed up, but taking care of the kitties is first and sorry you and keith were in such emotional pain that night, our 15 year old dachshund has been very ill, we though we were going to lose him the other day, but he has made a turn around for now,but the point is, we love our babies, and we will do what we can to care for them, you made the only choice you could make….so here is what you do, you bake a cake, you buy some ice cream and you eat a really good dinner and celebrate that richard is well for now, and make sure you give him some extra love, our time with some of our babies is limited..make the most of it…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20618 posts in 4728 days

#6 posted 03-28-2014 04:41 PM

Sorry about the trip Sheila. Sometimes, things just are not meant to be.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3125 days

#7 posted 03-28-2014 05:15 PM

Better to be safe than sorry! Richard would have been on your mind all weekend. In the end, though very disappointing not to make the trip, things always work out for the best. Enjoy this time for yourselves. As Patron says, maybe finding a publisher for the book would be worthwhile :)

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3972 days

#8 posted 03-28-2014 06:00 PM

Thank you to all my friends here for your support of our decision. I think all of you know me well enough to know that I am not only dedicated to woodworking and scrollsawing, but also to my beloved pets. Scroll sawing could get along without me this weekend, but Rich however, could not. Decision made.

I do think if I would have gone I would have worried the entire time. Not to mention the safety of the driving. I know there will be other times and I look forward to them, but for now this is what we feel is the best thing to do.

Have a great weekend, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3666 days

#9 posted 03-28-2014 08:28 PM

Sheila, very sorry about the plans ,but it may have been a blessing in disguise ,just wasn’t meant to happen and we never know what lays out in our paths we travel could be the Lord was watching out for you and its says a lot of a person that loves their pets ,i think Rich is a lucky and a rich cat to have you ,pray he gets better

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3972 days

#10 posted 03-28-2014 08:37 PM

Thank you so much, Eddie. He does seem to be eating a bit better today and may even like the special food he is on. For a cat – that is accomplishment. I hope he is on the mend. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3856 days

#11 posted 03-29-2014 11:38 PM

You and Keith are 1st Class all the way Sheila. You’re both really fantastic, and incredibly talented. I wish you both gr8 success and gr8 future.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3972 days

#12 posted 03-31-2014 11:22 AM

Thank you, Roger! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics