Should you see me out in public these days with a pained expression and glassy eyes, be careful what you say.
We're close to the annual Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center cake auction, and once again I've agreed to make a cake. I haven't baked since I made a cake for last year's auction, and the stress has started to mount. Thus the pained expression and glassy eyes.
Why I continue to do this to myself is anybody's guess. Maybe I just like being part of something that benefits so many people. Maybe it's the party atmosphere. Maybe I'm losing my mind.
The scariest part is I won't even be able to taste the cake before it goes - nobody wants to buy a cake with a big chunk missing. Even a little chunk.
Oh, my gosh, I just had a thought. I could turn my cake into one that would make Iowa State Fair entrants drool. Entrants in the ugly cake contest. Which means that no matter how it ends up looking, it meets standards.
Or I could give in and go with a regular cake that looks passable. Nobody buys the cake anyway they buy the gift that's attached and get the cake with it. Which doesn't soothe the stress either, since it's hit or miss whether what I send is what someone wants. Oh, the worry, the worry.
The cake auction, by the way, is Saturday at the Webster County Fairgrounds. Anyone can attend. It's free, the hors d'oeuvres are great and the doors open at 5 p.m.
As if that stress isn't enough, this is the year for the Fort Dodge Area Quilters Inc. big show. It happens every two years, and this year will be at the end of September. I've got to make a quilt to hang.
Since I retired, my sister said there's no reason I shouldn't rejoin the group. I'd been a member, but worked too late on Tuesdays to attend the meetings regularly. Now I have no excuse, she said.
The quilter in me jumped at the chance. The recluse in me yammers constantly that I gave away an NCIS show.
But this Tuesday no TV show could overshadow the quilt guild meeting because this Tuesday Jill Mead, editor of Quilts and More magazine, will be guest speaker. The meeting is open to the public, with a $5 fee for nonmembers.
Shoot, just add $20 to that five and join the guild. That way you can display your handiwork at September's quilt show, but more than that, you can join me in the stress of getting something done.
Anyway, Mead's appearance here in Dodge is a good thing. She'll be talking about wearable art clothing, those one-of-a-kind jackets or skirts or dresses that make you look as if you should be a designer.
The meeting, by the way, is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the basement of Grace Lutheran Church, 211 S. Ninth St.
You could go early and step inside the sanctuary to say a prayer for me. It never hurts to have a little help.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org