Sunday, October 12, 2008

Waterloo . . . not Abba ;-D

This weekend I traveled to Waterloo, Iowa for the Missouri Valley African Violet Council's fall convention and show. I'm an Advanced Judge of African violets, and my credentials were going to expire in 2009. I'm not eligible to test for Senior Judge until 2010, which left me a year gap. So, off to judging school I went with my friend, Judi D, and since we were going, I decided to take some plants to enter in the show. As a judge I'm required to show plants and get at least three blue ribbons during the time between each required re-test.

It was really a fun weekend - as well as an enjoyable ride over with Judi, I got to see some of my dearest friends, J and K (you might remember I went to Wisconsin Dells with them this summer :-) ), and entered my plants, took my test, and, last but not least: got robbed.

Yes, you read that right. Someone stole my wallet. It sucked to be me on Saturday around noon . . .the culprit lifted my wallet (not my purse - just the wallet) from the classroom where we were attending school. Although the center where we were is a public building, I didn't realize that it was open to the public at the time we were there (early in the day). We broke for a couple of minutes and since I thought we were in a secure location, I left my purse in the room while I went to suss out a bottle of water.

I cannot imagine that anyone in our group took it, which means it was someone at the building or someone off the street. I filed a police report, and one of the maintenance guys there helped me look in all the dumpsters and around the grounds in case someone had dumped it. No luck :-( I'm sorry to have lost the wallet - it was a nice one. I'm also sorry to have lost the laminated card from my mother's wake and funeral. I used to carry it with me all the time. Thankfully I found that I had another copy here at home - not laminated, but at least I didn't lose it totally.

I did lose about 250 bucks - I can only hope that whoever took it really needed it. Maybe they didn't have enough to eat, or had a sick child. . . I realize that's not too likely, but I hope so anyway. It could have been much worse - I read not too long ago that you shouldn't carry everything in your wallet. I never have carried my driver's license in my wallet - which was good, but having read that article, I recently starting carrying health care info and certain credit cards, etc. in other locations. So they pretty much only got cash - what cards there were I cancelled within the hour and no charges had been attempted. So let that be a lesson to you, don't carry all your stuff in one spot :-)

How wierd that they didn't grab my entire bag - there was a lot of stuff in there. It's funny - I've traveled all over the world, and I had to go to IOWA to get robbed. Geez :-S

In happier news, I'm pretty proud of my plants. I took nine to show and all got blue ribbons. I received two Best-in-Class. My species plant, which I showed back in July 2007, got one of those Best-in-Class ribbons, and was also Best Species and Third Best Violet in the Show! You can see how it has grown in the past year :-)

I also received the Purple Rosette for Second Best AVSA Standard Collection, which is a collection of three registered standard violets. Mine are, L to R, Silverglade Streams, Sansoucy' Julie Marie and Benediction. Truth be told, there were only two collections :-D but I was happy to have all these plants be scored as blue ribbon plants, which made them eligible for the collection award - Benediction's symmetry wasn't great, and Silverglade Streams could have used a bit more blossom - but I thought Julie Marie was a stunner, if I do say so myself ;-)

This is a streptocarpus - a cousin of the African violet. This one is Texas Hot Chili. I only grow a few streps (although I came home with a couple new ones!), and this one is notoriously slow-growing. Since I managed to get it to a 4" pot, and it was in bloom, I figured I would take it. I was pleased with the blue ribbon because this plant had at least 4 or 5 more bloomstalks when it left the house - they had to be removed because they didn't survive the trip. Still, I thought it acquitted itself pretty well :-)

Judi and I headed out early this morning - bless her heart, she's not really a morning person, so put up with my normal waking up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. (I was quiet :-) ), and she agreed to be on the road this a.m. by 7. We stopped for breakfast in Davenport, and then headed back to her place, where she gave me a couple leaves and a chimera plant, Emerald City! Woo Hoo! Chimeras are plants that have "pinwheel" blossoms. They don't bloom true from a leaf, so they are harder to come by and always cost more. I also came home with two new streptocarpus - one's a plantlet, Watermelon Wine, and the other is a leaf - a new hybrid from Dale Martens called Heartland's Bonfire. I can't wait for it to grow!

Some knitting got done, but between class, talking to the police, entering my plants, and seeing old friends, there wasn't much time for it.

OMG. I cannot get Abba's Waterloo out of my head now . . . :-D


Kris said...

Oh crap. That just stinks. At least your violets are lovely and you came home with a fist full of ribbons!

candy t said...

A big congratulations on your winnings! Your species has really grown into a nice specimen.

What a shock and disappointment to have your wallet stolen.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, losing $250 would really bum me out but I would have lost my driver's license and other important stuff, too. Where, pray tell, do you keep such things?

Congratulations on doing so well with your plants! Sounds like you're set for your Senior Judge test!

Yarnsnob said...

Bummer about the robbery, but good for you for nor carrying the vital info. How in the world do you grow such lovely flowers? Do you need lots of light or can you grow them in my low light cave?

Shelley said...

Your flowers are beautiful! Sorry to hear you lost all that money.

Knittinggarden said...

Sorry about your wallet; it's so creepy losing something that way. Your plants are beautiful. I used to have quite a few African Violets (just windowsill plants) and I really enjoyed them. Now I have a few orchids for fun. They seem to like being neglected better than the violets did!