Thursday, March 31, 2022

The transition from Zoom to in-person


We've all been waiting for this moment -- getting back to in-person events. Well, we must be careful what we wish for! 

In-person events require getting in the car and traveling! It's a challenge to go from ZERO traveling by car to spending THREE hours commuting -- that's 1 1/2 hours each way, and I have one more day to do that. It's not that it's a big deal, but I paid almost $80 to fill the car the other day -- I wouldn't have had to do that if I were doing an in-person event. My butt was sore and stiff after spending that much time in the car, and I could have accomplished a lot in THREE hours. 

Then we need to worry about the weather. Have you noticed that we're all checking the weather app these days, or is that just because we are older? And there's a weather advisory every day, or so, it seems! Yesterday it was freezing rain and today it's high winds. I lucked out yesterday -- the drive to the city was absolutely dry. We got some freezing precipitation while I was there, and there was some rain on the way home. When I arrived at the house, the cars and the house's windows were covered with ice.

Ice on the windows of the house

More ice

And let's not forget the issue of getting dressed. It was so easy to grab a sweater and a scarf, run a brush through your hair, and you were good to go. Hmm -- now we have to add pants and shoes to that mix. Thankfully, I don't have to worry about clothes not fitting as I kept an eye on that during the pandemic. 

But I had a good laugh yesterday. I try not to turn on the lights when I leave -- I'm pretty good at knowing where everything is. I left my shoes in the porch, and I put my socks and running shoes on so I'd be ready for my walk when I arrived at the hotel. Then I switched to my day shoes and went in. 

I thought my shoes felt a bit weird several times, but I didn't think anything of it. Then I was at the front of the room, and I glanced down. OH -- I have my indoor shoes/slippers on! Not my dress shoes which were still under the bench in the porch!  

My indoor/slippers

Not that they were very noticeable as slippers, but I had a good laugh. Thankfully, they weren't pink or something outlandish. The joy of being totally conservative with clothing choices! 

What was even funnier is the day before, we had talked about doing the event in our PJs!! 

Other things to consider as we transition from Zoom to in-person. You can't have a nap when you want -- sometimes, I sneak a 20-minute nap between calls, but that would have been a challenge unless I crawled under a table at the back and had a snooze!! And eating -- you have to eat what they put out for you and eat when they put it out! So if you wanted an apple, you'd better have brought it! 

The whole in-person thing requires a lot more time and planning. Hmmm --- do I really want this? I was really having fun with the Zoom thing. OH -- and the girls were never alone. Well, it's fun to be in-person, don't get me wrong, but it involves a WHOLE lot of things that we aren't used to. 

Let's say that I was EXHAUSTED when I got back to the retreat house last night. I slept like a log. 

Our sixth person didn't arrive as she now has COVID, so good thing she checked before she came. And now I have a permanent spot for me to sew.

I LOVE having a retreat with a small group of people in a house because we all sat around the table at dinner and talked and talked for hours! We couldn't or wouldn't do that with a large group in a hotel!!!

I did manage to get a bit of sewing done before I had to crash. I'm working on scrappy quilts again. Will I ever use yardage again? 

Scraps for another quilt

I'm making some little blocks with the scraps -- I need 49 blocks that measure 3 1/2", and I've got 14 more to complete. I'll sew them together, and then you'll have to wait to see what I will do with them. 

My scrappy green blocks

This is the retreat where I've had to move my sewing spot the most. I set up the sewing machine, then took it down to take it with me. Then I used the serger and then took that with me. Now I have the sewing machine back, and look what I get to sew on!!! I've got rid of four sewing machines, so I will only have to load one machine back into the car at the end! There was a LOT of packing and unpacking happening at this retreat, but all is good now. 

The PFAFF creative icon 2

YES --- this is the NEW PFAFF creative icon 2

The creative icon 2

It's a gorgeous sewing machine and does embroidery as well. And look at all the incredible technology incorporated into the creative icon 2. The way it sews is a dream! It's powerful!!

Technology in the PFAFF creative icon 2

I love my little portable office setup. The Bluetooth speaker runs off my phone and uses data to stream the live radio! I'm using the phone also as a hotspot to run my laptop on the internet. It's' just like being at home!! Thankfully, I've learned how to do all that stuff. So much more to learn, but hey!!! What would life be like if we weren't learning something new every day? 

I have so many samples that I want to make with the creative icon 2 -- I need to get that machine fired up when I get home and have it running 24/7 to get everything that I want to stitch actually stitched out. 

The other nice thing about the in-person event was that we got to chat with the shop owners. What is going on in their world of in-person versus zoom? Do people want to return to in-person events? Who wants to teach via Zoom? What is the future of educating the consumer? So that was a good thing. There's a different group of people today, so those conversations will be new!

So for those anxious to get back out in the real world of in-person events or work, be careful what you wish for!! It's a massive change, and while some parts are good, it's a significant change! The biggest issue is the "wasted" time in the car! I've always resented travel time, and doing that three days in a row -- that's a total of NINE hours in the car when I could have been doing something else!!!

We did discuss the future of teaching and how to keep a social aspect to the entire thing. If anyone has suggestions -- be sure to pass them along! 

Good grief -- I just asked Alexa to turn off the radio again! She's NOT here with me! 

Have a super day!!!



  1. I do enjoy this low-driving lifestyle. I've put nearly 450 miles on my car this year so far and decided in early January that I will fill up the beginning of each month regardless of how full the tank is at the time.

    Happy retreating!

  2. My Sonos speakers have Alexa. I can ask her to play whatever music I am feeling that day.