Dated for Wednesday but actually posted on Thursday because the camera battery needed recharging. My religious education program starts next Monday, the Annual Parish Picnic is Saturday and I am meeting with new catechists this week as well as with the perennial crew of last minute parents registering their children. Registration opened May 15 and the "deadline" was June 30. But in ministry, "deadline" translates as "please, for pity's sake, register on time so I don't have to update class lists and parent hall duty lists 90 times in the last two days before classes start". And that is just the tip of the iceberg: textbooks, workbooks, parent orientation packets, fundraising packets, program handbooks have to be re-counted/adjusted. Catechist binders and Attendance Rosters have to be updated. Name tags, Permanent Record Cards and student folders have to be added. Late registrants are a logistical nightmare of clerical mistakes just waiting to happen! But I stick to my philosophy that no child shall be denied religious formation or sacramental preparation because of an arbitrary deadline or parental inconsideration, idiocy, irresponsibility or discourtesy ... even though I send reminder postcards in July and August and do a follow-up phone call the Tuesday after Labor Day. This year seems to be a little harder on my nerves and demanding of my patience ... I guess I am getting too old for this. Most late registrants try to turn things around so this is all my fault, as in one woman's protest that "When I got the registration packet in May and saw the exorbitant fees, I just threw it to the side and said I'd deal with it later! Then, we were travelling all summer and I didn't get around to it." This same woman cheerfully pays three times the amount of my fees to place her children in Little League and has one child in travel hockey which ends up costing thousands of dollars a year when you consider ice time, hotels and meals for the family when competing out of state and still has sufficient funds to "travel all summer"... but she questions my fees of $270 a year for two children. Still, I manage to remain polite and welcoming even as I seethe inwardly ... and I did wait till she left the building before banging my head on my desk. To make matters worse, yesterday was primary day and my auditorium is a polling station. And the dear elderly folk who volunteer to staff the polls had me lowering, raising, lowering, raising the air conditioning temps at least a dozen times during the day ... the pastor insists that the controls remain under lock and key to prevent waste and to encourage accountability of the staff. The old darlings were very sweet and apologetic in the extreme, and I know and like most of them but still... So that set me a bit behind in my routines preparing for the first week of classes. Needless to say, I didn't get much stitching done today ... which is probably a good thing. My frazzled nerves would probably have resulted in loads of frogging. In any case, here is my progress photo. Only the most observant eye for detail will detect any progress since the last photo!!! Okay, I'll tell you. The trellis outlining/backstitching was finished Wednesday 9/7 and Wednesday 9/14 I started on the gold tourmaline metallic mane on the dragons.