Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winter, loosen thy cursed grip...

They say we're headed for a late March snowstorm, which may hit about 4 p.m. this afternoon, to 4 a.m. tomorrow morning.


The trees are in full bloom, the lawn's been fertilized, the dandelions are showing their little yellow faces, the daffodils are nodding their pretty little heads in the spring breezes.

Not more stinkin' snow!

I was out this morning looking for buttons, gusset material, and satin for my gig at the sewing room today. The rain was ferocious. I was glad it wasn't snow, or we'd be up to our glutteus maximus's in snow by now! Hope the weather man is wrong, and it stays rain until the clouds move on somewhere else.

Even though the snowblower is serviced and full of gas, I'd prefer not to use it today.

Hope we escape the latest blast from Ol' Man Winter--he won't go away quietly!

One step forward, several steps back.....

We're preparing for a new play, to go on stage April 17, 2009. It's called "Stepping Out", and the story line follows amateur tap dancers and their lives as they go forward each week to learn how to dance, and ultimately put on the show of their lifetime! The interplay between characters is as important as the development of their dance steps, which is what makes this play funny and interesting.

Our actresses (8) and actor (9), are struggling with the "interplay" part. They've learned their lines at home, learned the dance steps in special Sunday rehearsals, but the interplay part is not there yet. During one rehearsal, they are spot on, and then they forget what they did the next rehearsal. Each of their own lives and circumstances plays a part in this, one has a dead engine in her car, and has had to deal with that, another was diagnosed with a broken hip--what happened several years ago, but was undiagnosed, and now is causing trouble. The piano player is struggling to learn her music, and to come in with lines at the right time. Even though the director still has all of her hair follicles undisturbed, she is frustrated and scared. I still have a huge bunch of costumes to make and fit on a somewhat challenging set of bodies!

So, we make one step forward with a good practice, or a big block of time to devote to sewing. Then something happens at the next practice, or the time just disappears without much to show for it.

I've had to draft all my patterns based on ready-made clothing, or highly adapt the patterns I do have to make them work for this play. I've never had to do this before. I hope it all works out OK.

We're supposed to get snow today, and I need some black satin and some grey stretch fabric. Hope I can find both before the snow starts to fly.

So, while I'm snowed in, I want to get some of my sewing done. Goodbye, the fabric stores just opened!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fur Friends--we love 'em!

It's a _________ thing, you wouldn't understand (just add your own obsession in that blank space.)

For you who don't have fur-friends, you just wouldn't understand.

Why would you buy perfectly styled black pants and then go out in public with the legs covered with fur?

Why would you allow your brand new chair to be ravaged by the claws of a pet needing to sharpen his/her claws. He/she might need those claws to dig into your chest as he/she shows love by kneeding in your chest with claws opening and closing. (Felines only for this one!) And not really be that upset about it?

Why would you make your bed only to have the fur friend move from under the covers to over the covers for that long 12 hour daily nap?

Why would you disrupt your entire life training a puppy to not pee on the carpet? (And they are puppies for such a long time, long after they attain adult size, strength and bladder capacity!)

Why would you adopt more fur friends because you know that sad face says, "I need a good home", even when the house is full of fur, kids and people?

Well, we are a family who have 1-??? fur friends. Some are indoor friends, some outdoors, but all are well loved. The girth on some of the older ones attests to the fact that they have a great life, good food, lots of leisure time, willing to share their boundless energies with anyone who walks through their doors.

Example #1: We had Boy M's birthday party last weekend. 4 fur friends live here, 2 dogs and 2 cats. We never saw the one cat, but the others were definitely in the middle of the celebration. After an exhuberant display of welcoming, Mollie the big lab/chow/setter/57 other varieties big girl settled down in anyone's lap who was sitting in the chair she usually sits in. I looked at my brother, trying to drink his soda, while hosting 75 pound Mollie in his lap, her tail thumping happily as she took up residence on top of him. Mollie has some girth on her, so she is hardly a tiny presence in the room! But she was happy as a clam there, even if he did look a little bit helpless as to how to manage an open soda can and a big happy dog occupying the same space!

Example #2: everyone is experimenting with new products to get the fur off the furniture. I've found one product, which works, but is disposable, so you have to use a lot of product to get the fur off the chair that my fur friend (blonde soft kitty) leaves behind on everything he sits on.

Example #3: I found a darling pet bed at Walgreens for my fur-friend. It is the same color as he is, and is very soft plush. This is exactly the same kind of plush he goes crazy over which is on my bed, he kneads and kneads on that blanket. Would he go near the plush pet bed? NOT ON YOUR LIFE! The only way I got him to go on it was to put it on my chest as I take my nap in the chair, and then he had to go in the bed to do his favorite thing, nap with me. Some day I hope to catch him lying in it, so I can take his picture. That may be a long way off.

Example #4: Many of us have adopted our fur-friends after a sad pair of eyes and pitiful meows or whines have enticed us to adopt. I know I got mine that way, he was a "throw away" cat--you know, throw it out of the window and drive away. Our friend NV of This D*mn House got her Tigger that way. I adopted my Charlie because he was a barn cat at my son's house who liked people and needed to get away from the other 25 kittens born that spring. Bogey, the sad dog, was mistreated, and needed a good home, so he is Mollie's housemate. Coal, who is MonkeyGirl and Mr. MonkeyGirl's pet (, is a rescue dog, and is growing up in beauty, size, and getting some manners.

So why am I writing about fur-friends? Because NV lost her 17 year old fur-friend Tigger (beautiful grey tabby) this week, and we all remember the ones we lost. They give us love in their own way, and leave a hole in our hearts and in our daily routine when they leave us. We are sorry NV for your loss, and remember the ones who once coated our furniture with their fur.

I remember my Charlie, a beautiful B & W--black and white. He always looked well dressed, like he was wearing his tuxedo every day. He was a very smart cat, because he learned in 1 day how to open the doors at my house--every door had lever handles, so he just pulled it down, or pushed it down, and he was released from bondage.

I only had him about 3 years. He happened to die on my birthday, which was on the first day of a very bad year of school, while my husband was taking chemo and radiation for a brain tumor, on the day my friends 2 very-premature grandbabies who didn't make it were being buried, all the while waiting for a verdict in a son-in-law's very serious brush with the law. Once the tears started flowing that day, they didn't stop for a very long time. I remember wailing out loud as I was digging the hole to bury my fur friend in. I lived in the country, but I was sure that the closest neighbors who lived over 1 mile away could hear me. That was such a terrible day, I'll never forget it.

So we miss their companionship, their love, taking care of them, and will remember them for a long time.

Did you ever read the story "Where the Red Fern Grows"? If you love your pets, you should read it, because it is a love story between a boy and his dogs. When one of the dogs met an untimely death, the boy buried him and a red fern grew over the burial site. When I lost a crazy cat named 8 Ball, we planted the red fern over his grave site to remember him and what love and fun he gave us.

Remember them in a special way, those fur friends. Their unconditional love is something many humans can't give. We love them, even while wearing fur on our brand new black designer pants!

Creativity--where have you gone?

Do you go through dry spells in your daily lives? I think I've just gone through one, especially when it comes to creativity. I have many hobbies, of course the main one is sewing costumes. Then I like to make jewelry, take pictures, ride my bike, sometimes cook.....

Where has it all gone?

I'm trying to remember why I took up beading. I'm trying to forget I have 38 costume pieces to complete by April 11. The bike tires are flat and I don't really care, and cooking--no way, Jose! Let's go out to eat!

I'm hoping to get some of my incentive back to do the things I'm supposed to love to do by looking out at the beautiful spring flowers blooming in my yard. But the weatherman is really putting a cramp on that, as he predicts snowfall by tomorrow night! NOT MORE D**m SNOW! Even though the snowblower is ready to go, I still don't want to have to use it.

Being sick for many weeks hasn't helped. I got a pneumonia vaccine on Feb. 11, and have been sick from Feb. 14 til last week, when the coughing, sneezing and lousy feeling finally let up. I'm hoping for spring, Easter, no Kleenex needed, warm air, bike riding, and a finished sewing project within the next 2 weeks to lift my spirits. Hope it works.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Berry bad blogger

That's me, a berry bad blogger--why, I've ignored my blogspot for 3 weeks. Not that there hasn't been lots to talk about, just no time to talk about it!

Many in the Midwest have been longing for signs of spring. We got our warm weather on Friday, just in time for me to come down with the worst cough and cold I've had in a long time. So after suffering from a rather miserable morning of shopping with a friend and longing for my bed, I returned home and gave in to the bed, to stay there for about 2 solid days. 2 boxes of kleenex, lots of cold pills and lots of hacking later, I'm somewhat better today. But the nice weather was lost on me!

Today, when I finally ventured out into the world of out of doors, I was greeted with a delightful surprise. There in my garden, hiding behind some very dead foliage were a bunch of yellow jonquils, blooming jauntily and bobbing their pretty little heads in the spring breezes!

Hooray, they may be a breath of spring that is a sign that we are on the downside of winter!