Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weaving the hours together

Life is a little more quiet again.  The Interview behind me, the wedding joyfully enjoyed, the first two rehearsals for The Fantasticks done, and now, it is quiet again.  Clear forever blue sky and so much green.  Last week it was warm and muggy.  Muggy as a summer day.  In January.  Nature is so magical and fascinating, and science, all rolled into a warm winter with grass and green leaves and daffodils in January.

 And the camellias, and Japanese Magnolias, even azaleas and red buds are all blooming right now. 


The Japanese Magnolias are as splendid as ever.  Most of the others are a spot of color  here, a tree there.  It is so much fun watching all of these different plants blooming  in January. 

Today is absolutely glorious.  So was yesterday.  I have spent most of these two days weaving.  Standing and sitting, moving up and down the loom,  watching the patterns magically appear as I move from the outside inward, bringing the two sides of the shawl together.

getting closer to the end of the weaving on the shawl
I have to take a break every once in a while to rest my shoulders and to stretch out my back.  I get up and walk around the yard looking at all the plants, up and moving.  Sometimes I just do some stretches in the living room.  At rehearsal on Thursday night when the part comes in the play where I am the wall, I struck a warrior pose.  The Director liked the idea of it, so we will see how it works out.  I think I need to do a lot more practicing so I can hold that pose long enough during the performances.

It has been just the most enjoyable days.  Weaving, walking, stretching, watching cooking shows as I weave up and down the yarn, fingers moving in and out, in and out.  The peacefulness of the drama of the past two weeks, seems all the more precious and dear.  Giving me time to let me wander and weave and dance through the last few weeks.  Time to smile over happy moments, playing like movies in my head and heart. 

Sometimes my mind wanders forward as I think about my Dad's cousin's  great granddaughter (whew!) bringing her daughter down to spend a week with me.  They will come during Ellie's spring break.  This is the same week that Rob, JongAe, Jessica and Dad are coming up.  Yes, that will be a lot of people.  But Jessica and Ellie are within a year or so in age of each other, and won't it be nice for Jessica to meet one of her cousins.  Even if removed or something like the 6th degree or however it is figured out.  We have a small family and I believe this will be the first American cousin that Jessica will meet.  I think about how much fun it was last summer having Christopher here for those weeks and the places that we went that he enjoyed the most.  We will probably do some similar trips this spring, like to the Museum of Natural History and to the Tallahassee (Jr) Museum.  Maybe Mission San Luis, we will see.  It will be fun to have time here at the house and to spend time crafting with the girls.  JongAe and I love to craft together, we will see how Jamie enjoys it.  I am sure that we can find things for all of us to enjoy. 

My mind just floated from moment to moment, passing through time like riding a time machine, as I move forward and backward. The air almost danced between the quiet and the weaving, the dreaming and the sitting and staring out the door.  Outside into a yard that needs attention.  But for right now, I want to get this shawl done first.  The sooner I can finish the scarf, the sooner I can move on to a new project.  Once I finish the weaving, then I have to tie fringe to two of the sides and then crochet off the top row.  Still lots of work, but I am enjoying honing my new skills on this just learned craft.  I can not help but see other colors and wonder about what patterns might emerge if I used this yarn or that.  My mind running through the bags of yarn of not started or partially finished projects.  Yarn that I can now maybe weave another shawl.  But first to finish this one.

Bob and Ednarose walk with me when I take my walks around the yard to stretch out.  Bob chasing after the ball.  Edna insisting on walking directly in front of me.  Harry barking from the porch.  Time with my kids.  Today the chickens insisted on walking just behind us until I chanted, "Here chicken, chicken, chickens.  Here chicken, chicken, chickens" and they ran to me as I threw out handfuls of scratch.  I love to watch chickens run.  There is something so joyfully slap stick about chickens running.  Here they are eating.

here chicken, chicken, chickens

pretty chickens

It is just perfect winter weather.  Sigh, it has been so lovely.  Tonight it will get colder and tomorrow it will be below freezing.  I loathe the cold.  But if the sky is blue and the green shimmers in the winter sun, it doesn't matter how cold it is outside, I will just keep working on my shawl.  I have a couple of scarves started that I want to finish, but I am getting so close to finish the weaving, and anxious to see what it looks like done.  So I have to get busy on the fringe, and well, I love working step by step watching the craft come together. 

Moffitt and I need to see her with my own eyes.

I am not sure what all will happen this coming week.  I am just enjoying Chinese takeout and movies on the TV and my fingers dancing up and down my loom, in and out, magic appearing, like this glorious time of peace and joy.  The weather perfect for a picnic.  Hmm, that sounds like an excellent idea.  I just might see if a picnic can be added in sometime this coming week.  If not, I can always just take my lunch out on the porch, to take a break from bending and weaving and tying.  To enjoy this glorious winter.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

An Amazing, Beautiful and so very Precious Day

I did not sleep well Tuesday night.  I think I was as excited about the events coming on the next day.  Maybe a little anxious also.  I had written the ceremony for the wedding and I could not read it without weeping a little.  I am so dramatic, so emotional, shoot I cry at Publix (where shopping is a  pleasure) Commercials.  I probably got some sleep, but I remember waking up and checking the clock like a small child waiting for Christmas or their birthday.  I was waiting for a wedding.
Not mine.
No, Falcon and Amanda's wedding
sweet precious childhood sweethearts.
lovely intelligent responsible adults
dear funny giving friends.

I got up a little before 7:00am and checked the cake.  The "wedding cake" was actually a small bundt cake iced with whipped chocolate ganache and the rest of the "cake' were okay.  I had carefully baked them on Tuesday and iced them before I went to bed.  The white cakes were iced with a white shiny icing that I think of as a wedding cake.  The chocolate cupcakes they were also iced with the ganache.  I had also made a vegetable pickled relish with mushrooms, roasted red pepper, olives, capers, onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Yum.  Quick easy and delicious as a side relish for a meal, or spread on crackers.  I also cut up vegetables for Crudités with a dip.  This way people had snacks to munch on until the wedding and then the cover dish dinner.  Everything seemed okay, so I put the top down on the toy and put a 6 foot ladder in the back seat and headed to the Woman's club.  I got there early, so I left the ladder at the Woman's club and headed over to Winn Dixie for Sunflowers.  I had bought flowers yesterday, but had not picked up the sunflowers, Manda's favorite.  I needed flowers for the bouquet and I needed flowers for the cake and then I wanted to have some flowers for the Wedding table as well as for the food table.  Plus I just love working with flowers  and tend to go over board.  

I picked out my flowers and drove home. I finished the bouquet. It came out beautiful. Sunflowers, gerbra daisies, yellow mums, yellow roses and baby's breath.  Then I made Falcon's boutonniere out of a yellow rose, baby's breath and black silk rose leaves and black ribbon.  I should have taken a photo of the bouquet, it was wrapped with black silky ribbon with gold button pins and at the top a circle of gold filigree with crystals and yellow and black ribbons hanging down from the bottom.

The happy couple
The cake finished, the flowers finished, my contributions to the dinner, finished, the ceremony written and adjusted to Falcon and Manda's wishes, finished.  So off I drove back up to the Woman's Club to help decorate the front steps, and to help set up chairs for the ceremony.  Then to work with Jan as we decorated the inside of the club.  We put down white table cloths, a red one for accent on the food table.  The table that after the wedding would be groaning from the weight of so much food.  We blew up balloons that Jan had picked up and set out the flowers.  I set up the cake:
wedding cake
Mid afternoon, with the chairs in place, the lights set up, the inside ready, we all headed home to get prepared for the big event. 

People starting arriving about 6:00.  Falcon scurried here and there setting up the music, working on problems with the lights, greeting beloved ones who had come in for the pending nuptials.  Manda was stuck inside with all the woman wanting to fuss over her and be a part of this moment with this precious young lady. 
Our sweet beautiful Manda
At Falcon's cue, we got everyone seated for the ceremony.  Falcon and Manda walked together from the front of the building along the sidewalk to where they then entered the park, the side walk lined with luminaries.  The music played, they walked up to the gazebo.  I stood there smiling at how beautiful they looked.  How special this day was, for them, for all of us who were lucky enough to be there.  The service lasted only about five minutes.  Here is what was said:

On behalf of Falcon and Amanda, I would like to thank you for joining in this day to celebrate their marriage.  Marriage is a celebration of two people, two hearts coming together.  It is a joining of two people into a family.  Falcon and Amanda come willing and by their own volition to take these vows in front of their family and friends.  We ask you to support them, love them and to be there for them as they take this first step today as husband and wife.

I, William Falcon Street take you, Amanda Nichole DePotty to be my wife my partner in life and my one true love I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before.  I will trust you and respect you laugh with you and cry with you loving you faithfully through good times and bad regardless of the obstacles we may face together I give you my hand my heart and my love from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

I, Amanda Nichole DePotty take you, William Falcon Street to be my husband my partner in life and my one true love I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before.  I will trust you and respect you laugh with you and cry with you loving you faithfully through good times and bad regardless of the obstacles we may face together I give you my hand my heart and my love from this day forward for as long as we both shall live. 

While Falcon and Amanda exchange rings, I would like to share a poem by Shel Silverstein:

“How Many, How Much”
How many slams in an old screen door?
      Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread?
      Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?
      Depends how good you live 'em.

How much love inside a friend?
      Depends how much you give 'em

And now I would like to ask for everyone to please stand.  Falcon, Amanda on behalf of your family and friends, it is our honor to be the first to pronounce you Husband and Wife.  You may now seal the union with a kiss.
Ladies and gentleman, Mr. and Mrs. William Falcon Street.

Isn't that a beautiful ceremony?  I managed to make it through the ceremony without crying.  After the ceremony everyone carried their chairs inside and the party began. 

Jack and Jan decorating

falcon setting the lights

putting out the luminaries

view of the ceremony site

Aren't they beautiful?

Conducting the ceremony

Environmentally friendly lanterns being flown off after the ceremony just like in a Disney movie

So many people managed to make this mid week celebration.  People who love Manda and Falcon.  People who wanted to be there to support them and to wrap their arms around them and love them.  I felt so special to be a part of this.  I felt so honored to be there for them.  The night was magical.  There was laughter and love and joy and bells ringing.  yes, everyone got a bell and whenever a bell rang, the new married couple had to kiss each other.  And yes, yes the beloved gathered there for them took complete advantage of the bells.  The bells rang continuously.  I would not be surprised if they woke up with chapped lips this morning.  I am sure that they woke up with the glow of newly weds.  They woke up with memories of all the love and caring and giving and sharing that had occurred on a warm winter night in north Florida.  At a beautiful old building that has held so many happy and loving moments.  And last night was another one to add to the memories, to the patina of the old pine walls.  And each of us who were able to be there last night, also woke up this morning the with the afterglow of a night filled with sharing something so rare and special.

Good luck Falcon and Manda.  Happy ever after.  And if two people have the chance for that?  It would be these two sweet precious people.  I love you both dearly.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The (un)wedding day is here!!

Wow what a life, what a week, and it is only Wednesday morning.  Monday my friend Other Bob came over for lunch.  I burnt the Rubens.  He is a nice man and scraped the "Caramelized" black crusty bread off and then ate it as if he enjoyed it.  Then we put on our jackets, climbed up on his beautiful big Harley and drove out the drive, down the road, around all the holes on Farmboy Road.  We turned right on the publicly maintained road and roared on our way.  I wrapped my arms around this new friend and leaned into the smell and heat of a man.  I love to ride, but I have always preferred to be opossum girl, hanging on the back, silly smile on my face.  And here I was doing it again.  With a new friend, a nice man, a man with an interesting life, sharing his joy with me.  Bless his heart he had already driven more than an hour and a half just to get to my house.  We headed north on 19 turned onto CR 149 and then with the help of a GPS we turned down this back road up another.  We did make one wrong turn.  Not that we got lost, but we did end up on a dirt road, rough and ridged with car tracks, spots were muddy, others were sprinkled with a topping of gravel.  Oh yeah, pretty treacherous riding, but Other Bob skillfully after having ridden thousands and thousands of miles, maneuvered our way back to black top and then off we roared again.  He is a safe driver and I leaned back against the seat as comfortable as any lazy boy found in a family room in front of the TV.  Other times I leaned in and watched him or we would have snatches and grabs of conversations.  The radio playing around us as the wind whipped the music in a spiral rising above us and then blowing away.  I was in heaven and kept saying, "I am so happy."  Honestly, I never thought I would have the opportunity to get to ride again in this life time.  Thank you Other Bob.  I had so much fun.  Can't wait to do it again.

He chose the name Other Bob because of my Bob.  My dog, Bob.  I thought that was cute.  I was also amazed how the dogs loved him.  Bob is a little slow to warming to new people, but once you throw the ball, Bob is okay and as long as you keep throwing the ball, or feed him treats, he will love you forever.  Harry however fell in love with Other Bob hard.  He grew up with a man in his life.  He is used to man smells and the sounds of motor cycles.  Bob grew up with me.  When the day was done and I was heading up to the Rosemary Tree for a Board Meeting for the Opera House, and Other Bob was heading back the hour plus drive to his place, Harry pushed his face against the gate and barked out to Other Bob, "Don't go!  Come back!!!  No, please don't go!"  He barked.  I love that dog.  He is still in that giant old body.  I don't see him come out very often.  He sleeps a lot.  Well, dogs do sleep a lot, especially old dogs.  But he woke up and was happy to have that man smell around him again, the sound of pipes.  Harley pipes.

Yesterday I started baking.  I made 50 cupcakes.  That is not a lot.  Half are vanilla "wedding" cake with white shiny icing.  The other half are chocolate with ganache for icing.  The topper is chocolate bundt iced with more chocolate ganache.  This afternoon I will put the cake together and decorate it with live flowers.  Shades of yellow and white.  I will finish the bouquet of sunflowers.  I will cut up the veggie plate, the vegetable relish to serve with crackers.  I cheated and bought store made humus.  I met Manda, Jan and Jack at the Woman's Club to get the key from Ms Ethel.  We looked at the woman's club and planned out our decorations today.  
It is here.
Today is the day.
Today is the Unwedding of Falcon and Manda
Now I will go print off the ceremony we put together. 

It is going to be such a beautiful wonderful amazing and magical day.  I am so honored to be a part of this special day.

I will tell you about it, soon.
See that smile?
Yep, still smiling from the ride, still excited about today.

sigh, what a wonderful life I have. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another amazing week

Yes, it was another amazing week.  Tuesday morning Ms Mary and Ms Judy met at my house and we put the top down on the toy and drove up to Thomasville.  I love driving my toy with the top down, but when you have someone all dressed up to go out with the girlfriends for lunch, driving with the top down is a lot of wind.  We drove up the so familiar road, straight north from Monticello.  Monticello, a struggling rural community with a precious sweet little downtown.  But we are struggling.  I have only lived here in this place for five years that I love to call my home and there are businesses closing that have been the heart of the community for as long as people's memories seem to go.  We drove north to Thomasville which is also struggling, but so much bigger and stronger with it's larger proportion of affluent then our dear town. 

We decided to have lunch at Henderson's.  Mary said we had eaten there before, but I did not remember until we walked in.  It still seems so odd that I have so many gaps in my memory.  That is why I am writing this journal.  So many wonderful things and I don't want to loose them.  Like lunch with Ms Judy and Ms Mary at Henderson's.  Lunch where when I walked in the door and saw the record album covers, I remembered having been there.  I still have to rely on Mary's memory for when, why, and what we were doing to be there before.  But I love stories and Ms Moon can tease my memory with one of her stories of lovely events in our lives anytime she wants.

We talked through lunch and time and the food just disappeared amongst the laughter and woman's voices talking in harmony.  We headed over to see the Amazing Dr. M.  I had scarves that I had made for the people who do so much for me.  I had enough colors for most people to choose.  When I had asked Allison what color she would like, she had asked for black, so I had it made it for her and it was was ready to give to her as soon as I signed in.  I asked her if she would get Bobbie for me.  Bobbie is one of the Amazing Dr. M's nurses.  She was his only nurse when I first started going to see him.  Bobbie has a little boy and she has the sweetest smile and I just love her and Ashley, the Amazing Dr. M's other nurse.  They are just so very precious.  Beautiful young woman, amazing nurses and I am so honored to call them friends.  Allison went to get Bobbie and would not tell her why she had to come out to the waiting room.  But she came out, took one look at the three of us, Mary, Judy and myself, and she smiled.  Nervously, but she smiled.  I explained that I just wanted her to have first pick with the scarves, Allison laughed and ran off, her black scarf waving good bye in the breeze of her movements.  Bobbie picked the blue/green one.  I gave the same exact color to Ashley, and Bobbie had said that was the color she wanted.  Sure enough when presented with 10 choices she picked up a couple of them, but chose the blue/green one.  She was shy and smiled with pleasure.  She wrapped it around her neck and hugged me and hurried back to work.  I proceeded to slip in and out of offices delivering the soft warm scarves.  A turquoise and white one to Donna, she kept commenting on it when I was making it.   Another one to Stephanie, my scheduler, one to Esther in paperwork, a purple one and a green one to the ladies in the lab.  Pretty soon there was a buzz all around the center as all these ladies wore their scarves proudly around their necks.  It was just so precious and made my heart sing with joy. 

The visit went well with The Amazing Dr. M.  He said I am doing so well that he wants me to go see his friend who works with people who have Hepatitis C.  There has been an evolving treatment out there for years, but like chemo it has been a hard bitter pill to try and survive.  I have known others who went on the treatment and they were as sick as I have ever been on those early chemo treatments.  The Amazing Dr. M wants to see if they can come up with a treatment that will not cut into the quality of my life.  Thank you Dr. M, I do appreciate how you balance quantity and quality.  The Amazing Dr. M was so happy to see Judy and Mary and we just smiled and talked to the handsome intelligent man.  We commented on his hair cut.  He said his wife told him to get it cut.  Then Judy and I told Bobbie, Ashley and The Amazing Dr. M that we would like to invite them to come to see the Spring Murder Mystery in May on Judy and I.  They were thrilled.  We said they would have to coordinate to make sure that they all came the same night.  It will be so much fun having them all there together.  I hope we can all work this out. 

We left the Oncology Center happy.  Happy for the three of us to be together again.  And for all of us to be healthy and happy.  We drove home and each headed our own direction to get things down.  I made pecan praline gingerbread, one of my new favorites.  I hopped once again in the toy and headed up to Ron and Pat's for a gold selling party.  Then I pointed west on Hwy 19 drove west to visit Janak, Geeta and Baa.  Manju and Genevieve were also there and all the ladies joined together for a guided meditation.  Genevieve ran off to a yoga class after the meditation and the rest of us, joined by Janak sat down to a delicious dinner and a lively conversation.  I love the discussions with these people because they are so smart and well spoken and will generously discuss all types of issues with me.  I enjoy hearing their perspective, which is different than mine sometimes, but really not so different.  We all live with the same basic rules of kindness, joy, laughter, learning and living life to the fullest.  I drove home and reflected how very lucky I am.

Wednesday I worked at the Opera House.  Thursday I met with my new financial Advisor, who drove out to meet me.  After he left I decided that I really was not interested in driving my loom up to the Art League when I had been so busy with other projects and had not worked on my weaving since the class on Sunday.  I did drive up to meet with the other ladies and I enjoyed being at the Art League with friends.  It is always nice to be able to sit around with friends and talk.  I seem to do a lot of that lately. 

Friday I cleaned the house.  I am trying to get back on top of my little place.  For the last two years it has pretty much been pushed to the back of the list, and there are so many things that need taking care of.  But I find if I just focus on one project at a time it is amazing how many things end up getting done.  Just one bite at a time.  After lunch I drove over to pick up Carolyn and we drove into Tallahassee.  The ride along Hwy 90 is so beautiful in summer with the frilly crepe myrtles blooming on both sides of the road like ladies in waiting with their pink, purple, white, and rose colored dresses.  In the winter it looks like a road you could see in any state, bare, gray trees standing naked in area with the undergrowth brown and broken.  A stark beauty against the memories of the green and pastel flowers of summer.  We ran here and there picking up things, talking away.  Just enjoying two woman driving into town together.  Open to new ideas and always willing to try something.  Talking about our weaving projects, the Opera House, Garden Circle, and the Art League.

After we got back from town I met Manda and Falcon at Jack and Jan's to discuss the (un)wedding this Wednesday.  Wow, Wednesday, it is finally here.  They have been dancing towards this day for ten years.  It will be small but a dear affair.  Loved ones will gather together to share this moment.  I need to finish writing the service out.  I will be conducting the service and I want to keep it short and sweet, but to choose the rights words to mark the joy and love and happiness that everyone there will be sharing with these two remarkable young people.

Saturday I worked on my weaving and baked Chocolate chocolate chip everything muffins.  Come on, chocolate has anti-oxidants in it!  I also put flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts and coconut.  So not only were they tasty, but they were also full of healthy treats.  A little after 1:00 I drove north to Golden Acres where a beautiful and talented woman from FAMU was going to show people how to build a greenhouse out of recycled materials for less then $100.  I stood at the first gate and pointed people back to where the green house was to be built.  Bobbie did not get to come out and see everyone, she is still recovering from knee surgery.  Big gentle hug, Bobbie, it will get better.......soon, really it will.  Fred looked great and is recovering nicely from eye surgery.  More then half of the Garden Circle showed up to help, so once everyone was parked I left because there were just too many people crowded around together for me.  I was so happy to see what a nice group of people turned out.  I left and went over to Mary's where she and Judy were busy away practising lines.  I jumped in and started reading the other two small parts while Mary and Judy did the leads.  Judy is wonderful to watch work.  Mary was doing much better, but she still has so much to learn.  Not the big monologues.  She has those down pat.  No, it is the small lines like, "Hello, Hello", "Hello, Hello, I am here"  "Hello, Hello, what did you say?" kind of thing.  It is repeating just about the same lines over and over.  But if you do not get them right, then the cue for the other actors is not right and it is so easy to end up in a never ending circle when people get lost because of those silly little lines.  Ms Denise came over and all the men headed to the Glen Den to watch the FSU/Duke game.  I slipped away to get changed and ready to go to my second vegan dinner and meditation for the week.  This time at Ms Genevieve's.  

Carolyn drove over to my house and then I drove us down Hwy 19 to Hwy 27 and turned west toward the horizon already growing dark with dusk.  It was a small group of six woman who came for the vegan food and guided meditation.  We were a new group, but we all knew someone and it was short order before we were all talking and munching and getting into very in depth subjects.  And the honesty and humor had us laughing until our noses ran.  We went into the bedroom and sat with our backs to the beds, giving each of us a little privacy as we listened and responded to the Guides words.  After unfolding ourselves from the floor, we enjoyed more eating and then some sparkling grape juice and more loud hardy laughter.  It was after 10:00pm when Carolyn and I finally made our way  to the car and drove back through the dark night, ever watchful for deer standing along the grass beyond the road.  Beautiful creatures that could leap out in front of you in less than a moment's warning, wreaking havoc on an automobile.  Usually worse on the poor dear.  We made it home in the muggy winter's night safe and sound.  

Today I got up and did my Sunday morning ritual of hot tea, fruit and yogurt for breakfast as I watch the Sunday morning local news and then Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.  I worked on my loom as I waited for oils and beeswax to melt on a slow warm stove.  I mixed flowers, rose petals, lavender and chamomile along with lemon peal  into the oils then made a hand moisturizer, that I am not sure about.  It has honey in it, which draws moisture into the hands, but it is tricky to get the right amount.  I also made a scrub with salt, sugar, honey and oils.  I will test market these on my friends and see if I can tweak the recipes, working and evolving them until I am happy with the recipe and then I can put together spa bags with soap, scrub, lip cream, moisturizer, massage oil and herbal tea for bath, shower or to pour out water over to make into a relaxing beverage.  I love trying new recipes in the kitchen.  So far I am happy with my 5 basic winter soap recipes and the lip cream.  The other two I am still working on.  

This afternoon I drove once more to town for the first rehearsal of The Fantasticks.  I have to give it to Melanie she has cast an amazing group of people.  We have two beautiful and talented young ladies splitting the part of Louisa.  I have to tell you I could not have chosen between the two.  Each one so amazing.  We also have a father son team of Dave and Jacob Smith.  I have gotten to work with Dave on a Radio Play with the Opera House Stage Company's 1940 Radio Show.  He played the part of The Shadow and Tonto in the Lone Ranger.  He is extremely talented.  And the apple fell straight down into the roots of these talented parents iinto Jacob.  This 11 year old has a better bio then I have and does the most amazing death scenes you could ever want the opportunity to witness.  He has at least one death scene in this production.  I am so looking forward to that.  The rest of the cast, four men, all amazingly talented and I so enjoyed getting to sit in and listen to them as they read through the play for the first time together.  We listened to the music for the show, they read their lines and and I sat quietly highlighting my parts as the muse, as the wall.  Our next rehearsal will be Thursday.

I ran though the grocery store picking up food for the week and food for the wedding and trying to keep so many different events straight in my head.  I rushed home and made it in time to see the last half of the fourth quarter of the Ravens/Pats game.  The Pat's won.  I am sorry, they are just not my favorite team.  The Raven's looked so good.  I can't believe it.  It was going to be so easy to tie the game, just one field goal.  Just. One.  Field Goal.  A field goal that was wide.  That is a lot of pressure.  Now the Pats will play the winner of the Giants/49ers game.  It is the beginning of the 4th quarter and the 49ers are ahead.  It is also a good game. 

And now I think I shall weave a bit more.  I have a very busy next several days.  Mostly Tuesday and Wednesday when I make the cakes and the flower bouquet.  I will also make some appetizers for the wedding.  I have a friend coming for lunch tomorrow and then by Tuesday I need to buckle down and bring everything together.  I also need to get more rest, we are in rehearsals.  I need to make sure not to tire myself out.  It has been a wonderful first three weeks of the new year.  Such delightful moments with sweet beloved ones.  Phone conversations, promises to stay in better touch.  Quality time spent with friends.   Working so hard to get all the scarves made and the reward?  Smiles and sweet hugs.  Life is great, and I am so happy to be in there participating.  Baking, knitting, weaving, driving, calling, talking, laughing, be amazed by so many talented people.

A busy week, filled with beloved ones, whether talking to on the phone, or sitting across the table from. It was also filled with great excitement when my interview with Jeff Pearlman on the Quaz came out. The Amazing Jeff Pearlman's Quaz.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blessed Journy, Ms James

Yesterday, the extrodinary Queen of the Blues, Ms Etta James died.  We have lost one of the greats.  Let us all send her off with the song she is most remembered by. 

At Last, Etta James

In a little more then three minutes, such love, such sweetness, such passion
Play this for your love and celebrate that love in its simplest, most open and honest way

Blessed journey, Ms James, thank you for leaving that voice of an angel
the magic of the blue fairy
where wishes come true
thank you for leaving that music
behind for us

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jeff Pearlman

WOW!!!!  OH WOW!!!!!  Do I sound excited?  I am.  I recieved a comment from a Jeff Pearlman who asked me to contact him.  I may not be good about commenting on comments, but I read each one many times, and so I emailed Jeff and he got back with me and asked if he could interview me for his Quaz.


Yep, the Quaz.  And if Jeff and I sound like a mutual admiration club, well, yep, I think he is a wonderful writer.  I looked at his website and was impressed with his smart, witty, keen insight on his blog.  His photos crack me up and even when he gets political, I have not seen any meanness.  Just great writing and insightful questions.  I looked at the people he had interviewed and I saw all kinds of people.   Sports Stars, Entertainers, just people, all kinds of people.  So I said, Yes, I would love to be a part of the Quaz.

And Bam!!!  I am on the Quaz.  Please go and look, I am sure that you will want to add Jeff's site to your regular reading, even if you are not a sports nut.  Seriously, have I evoked any curiosity?  Go on over and check it out:

Jeff Pearlman's Quaz

I know you will be as amazed at his insight as I was, and I feel so humble to get this opportunity.  I mean, my life is just so amazing!!!!!

Okay, lots going on, but I will talk about that later.  Right now, I am still floating from the Quaz.  Really, go there and enjoy!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day

Yesterday was Dr. King's birthday.  Today is the day we celebrate what he has given to the world.  He gave his life for what he believed.  A lot of people gave their lives for the simple right to be seen as equal.  To have the same rights in this country as everyone else.  One of my favorite quotes: 

 As long as you keep a person down some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.
~Marian Anderson

We certainly see that in this country.  A country young and full of hope and promise.  But whether we hold back people because of the color of their skin, the beliefs in their heart, who they love, then it holds us all back.

One of my favorite quotes of Dr. King:

"Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are."

And my final quote for the day is from the Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd:

"Zach Taylor: Miss August told me about you being here helping out. She didn't mention anything about you being white.
Lily Owens: Maybe she didn't notice."

As long as their is hatred, lack of forgiveness, lack of support of other then we can never have the peace in our heart that must exist for world peace. 

I am still working on forgiving myself for mzy prejudice, my bigotry in my youth.  It was not from my heart.  It was not my thoughts, but those that were accepted in the world I lived in.  There is one event that I have held in my heart for way too long.  I was probably 11 and in sixth grade.  Lisa, whose Dad was a State Representative and I were at the Palmetto High School football home game.  We ran into Darlene.  She was one of the two first black girls de-segregated into our public schools.  Jackie was the other one.  They were just sweet precious little girls.  We were all just children, our thoughts transmitters of the adults around us. 

Darlene, Lisa and I were running around and playing together.  There was no color in our eyes or hearts, there were just three young girl friends playing at a football game.  How grown up we felt getting to be on our own at a high school football game.  It was dark and the game must have been going full force.  Out of no where my Mother came up and grabbed Darlene's arm.  She said to her to go back to her father and stay there.  That the three of us could not play any longer.  She then grabbed Lisa and I and took us to the car.  Lisa was sent to sit in the stands with her parents.  I don't remember where Mother and I went.  All I know was that I was hurt and confused.  I was embarrassed that my Mother had done that.  Not because of race, but because any tweenager would be embarrassed to have their Mother act like that.  I think my Mother tried to explain what she had done.  I know that all of a sudden I realized it had to do with Darlene being black.  I had never realized that my parents could be prejudiced like that.  I didn't talk back, I didn't question, but it was an open wound in my heart that I carried around for a long time.

I remember trying to fit in and say the bigoted words at times, but it just was not right and I did not feel comfortable with that.  I remember talking to my Mother about it many years later and that is when I found out that a couple of red necks, big men.  Well, in size, not mental ability, had gone to my Mother and had told her that if they saw Lisa and I playing with that "n*****" again they would kill Darlene.  That it was not appropriate for the daughter of a state representative to be seen running around with a "n*****"  I asked Mother why had she not explained it to us then.  She said we were too young to understand that kind of hatred.  That her only concern was not to let anything happen to the three of us.  She was not sure that they would not have hurt all of us.  And the only thing she could think of to make sure that Darlene was safe was to act like she had.  She had thought about it over the years.  It was obviously a very painful memory for my Mother.  It is still a painful memory for me.  

Later another incident occurred involving Darlene and me.  I was babysitting for my regular kids.  They had an older brother who was a year older then I was.  The best friend of this older brother was a boy who had a crush on Darlene.  When I would babysit he would get me to call Darlene's home and ask for her.  I did once.  But I hated it.  Not because he was white and she was black.  No because he had had a lot of girl friends come through that house.  I did not respect him and I did not think he was good enough for her.  I think she knew that I did not approve of her relationship with this boy.  I don't know if she realized that it was because I admired her so much.  I was very immature and had not gotten to the point of understanding dating and liking boys, etc.  I just knew this boy was trouble.

I have tried to forgive myself for my actions and words from that time.  Actually reading the Secret Life of Bees really did help, because there was a young white girl living in a multi colored world and she did not question what was right or wrong, she was just another child born in a time when the world was confused.  When we believed that the world is black and white, good and bad, republican or democrat.  We still have serious hang ups involving having to see the world as democratic or communist.  

Seeing things as yes or no can be useful.  It helps us to create the computer world we know now, which is made up of "0" and "1".  For computing that might be just fine.  But for people and animals and how we see the world.  How can it be a good thing that we only see ourselves as better then others.  I always think that the worst of the seven deadly sins is vanity.  I know it nails me every time.  And is this not what makes us want to think we are superior to other people. That we are superior to animals or plants or anything not human.

I don't think that Dr. King's message was for black people.  I think his message was for people.  He talked about all of us getting along and that someday children would grow up and appreciate and love our differences as much as our similiarities.  I think he is a great human being because he made a difference in all of our lives, regardless of race or religion or whatever.
Will we finally destroy ourselves and this beautiful blue and green orb by our belief that we are superior to everything else?  Will we ever be able to spread our wings and soar through space and reach the farthest galaxies?  Not as long as we hold anyone or anything back.  Not as long as we think in black and white.  Not as long as we measure our success by being the best that we can be only by comparing ourselves to others.   


I just got these photos from Alice.  She took these during the two day weaving class.

I loved this class.  Thank you Alice for the photos!!!

The magic of weaving

I have yet another new passion, weaving.  Oh my the magic that we weave, the colors and textures, the patterns and designs.  By the end of the day my fingers had found their own pattern of grabbing and poking and pulling the yarn in and out.  Pulling the yarn through the shed between the rows of the warp to make the weft.  What I love about this loom is that you are putting the warp and weft on together.  I had a small table loom and by the time I got the warp on I would be sick of the color of the yarns.  There was no pattern until the weft goes on forming the geometric pattern of the yarns as they meet at 45 degree angles.

my loom is 7 feet wide by almost 4 feet tall

see the pattern emerging

see how big the loom is when you see my hand against it
I brought my triangular loom home. I am loving this.  Watching the pattern emerge is really so fascinating.  The loom and project made it home not bad riding in the back seat, safely buckled in to the back of the toy with the lid down.  I drove home never going faster then 45 mph and it survived pretty well.  It looks a bit spacey at this time, but when you finish the project and then pull it off the loom it will pull in significantly making the pattern much tighter.  I have homespun yarn in an Ivory and pearl color, brown with specks of cream angel hair yarn, a brown soft acrylic semi chunky yarn, two types of eyelash yarn, one coppery the other with gold and sparkly and then a thin brown and cream stripe acrylic yarn that really does not add much to the project.  I am learning so much. 

Our Instructor also taught us how to make lacy patterns and satin finish.  For this first one I will just do the straight or tabby weave.  If I were doing all one type of yarn in different colors I would consider the lace weave to add some design interest, but since I have instead chosen lots of different textures I will let my yarn be the star.  I am so happy learning this new technique that for the last two nights my dreams have all ended in weaving.  If I am dreaming about cars, pretty soon the cars driving down the highway would morph into patterns of the black ribbon road and the red, blue, silver and gold of the cars.  If I dreamed about cards the red and blue bicycle pattern on the back of the cards would weave in and out of the red, black and white on the face of the cards.  The dreams were extraordinary and when I woke up my heart would still be singing in the rhythm.  When I got to class we were supposed to finishing hammering the nail into our looms, but I can hammer later, I wanted to get my fingers into the yarn and weave.  I was like a prima dona ballerina, my fingers floated up and down the warp weaving the weft in and out, in and out.  The rest of the class came by and stared in a amazement as they watched my patterns emerge and how my fingers floated.  My yarn and colors were different then everyone Else's.  Each of us had such different colors, but mine were the colors that you could best see the pattern with the contrast between the pale creams and the dark browns.  I was the first to have a melt down on Saturday.  I just could not get the concept in my head and understand what I was doing.  I started taking it apart and was not getting it still until the teacher came in and found me in my state of confusion and dismay.  I did not get upset or anxious.  This is good.  I was trying with all my brain to understand what was I doing wrong.  When she came and stuck her hand up into my project it clicked.  I got it!!  Now I could see the warp, the weft and the shed in between.  Then with all the dreaming of the process I had worked it through my brain so Sunday I went from behind the average in the class to zooming ahead. 

The best part of the class, well, one of the best parts was every half hour or so someone would get it.  When Judy came into class on Sunday she was lit up  like Christmas lights.  In the night in her sleep her brain had also solved the mystery of what our fingers were trying to do.  She also starting zooming.  Her yarns are the same texture and size.  They are both chunky yarns, one purple the other variegated purple, green and blues.  The patterns are lovely but using the same size of yarn she needed to try a pattern to add interest to her project.  The lace pattern she put in about a third of the way through the project was perfect and added that extra little something.  The teacher had taught us the lesson of thirds.  It is amazing how using these little secrets make your projects look so professional, even on the first one.

Can you tell how much I love this craft?
It is cold here. It has been cold for way too many days so far. It is supposed to start to warm a bit this week. I know it is January and I get so tired listening to people complain in August that it is too hot. But I never complain about the hot, and so even though it is supposed to be cold in January, I still feel perfectly fine complaining about it. I have so much yard work to do, but I have so many fun projects to do here in the house and it is too cold outside, so I will stay inside and play here. There will be time to play outside when the temperatures are more my speed.  I should be able to tell by the end of the day how many plants survived these last many days of temps in the 20s and 30s.  I feel a little bad because I had made my friend up in Delaware a scarf for Christmas, but then I did not send it to him because I had decided to go with life saving presents that would keep him warm.  I will mail him the scarf tomorrow.  I made it the color of the University of Delaware, the Blue Hens.  Hee hee I love that name.  I hope it keeps him warm.  His job is outside on the docks in Delaware, you know I would not survive doing what he does.  He amazes me, and makes me laugh and giggle like a teenager when we talk.  I hope he likes the scarf.
scarf that I hope is Blue Hen blue
But before I can get back to my weaving, I am finishing the last scarf that I have to have donemade by tomorrow. I gave my doctor a camel colored alpaca scarf, and I have made scarves for the 2 nurses who take my blood, the doctor's two nurses, the receptionist, the file person who handles my insurance and the two woman who handle my scheduling. The rest I have made will go to patients who need something warm. Then I will switch back to my weaving.   As class was winding down yesterday none of us were even close to be done so we decided to make a weaving club and our first time to meet and work on our looms as a weaving group will be Thursday.  I am so happy!! 
Tomorrow I will go see the amazing Dr. M and Ms Judy is going with me, maybe Ms Moon, it will depend on her schedule with Mr. O.   And then tomorrow night I have a gold selling party and then a meditation dinner. way too busy, but I will just stop by the gold party and then head on to the meditation. I have a very busy schedule and I will have to cut back pretty soon so I do not wear myself out before rehearsals for the play. As I announced earlier, I am playing the part of the muse (the wall) in the Fantasticks.
Yes, I am still just zooming along, loving this year.  We got off on a metaphysical discussion yesterday about the changes occurring in all of our lives.  I don't know exactly why I have gone from a tough hard year where I had to deal with a lot of depression to this new happier year.  Yes, I know I try not to say or use the word depression on my blog.  I try to keep a positive outlook, but I can't do it all the time, and as the year wore on I got more worn down.  I had asked for a hard year last year without realizing what I was asking for. 
This year, I am asking for much more happiness.  I plan to deal with the depression, which is mostly chemically based from my meds, into looking at in another way.  Honestly, most of the depression last year was from wearing myself out.  So when I think I am going into depression, I see it for what it really is, just exhaustion.  And instead of disappearing into the dark gray world, I will be grateful for all the wonderful things I did to cause the "depression".  I in no way mean to minimize the depression that others are faced with.  It is a serious disease that needs medical attention to give your life back to you.  I see the amazing Dr. M once a month, so I am watched constantly like a rat in a cage in a scientific experiment. 
I enjoyed the discussion about where we might or might not be as a civilization, as a species in this giant universe.  Most of those leading the discussion felt very optimistic.  I have to say that I am almost euporphic happy each day.  Is it from the vibration level surrounding us?  I don't know.  Is it in the stars and the enlightenment of the planets?  I have no idea.  All I know is that I am happy.  I am alive, I am doing so many fun things, I am trying hard to make time for my friends.  I used to think that I had to make time for myself.  Well, by simply changing my perception, by making time to enjoy myself with my friends.  By making time to learn and grow and do activities that I love I am making time for myself. 
I am sending out positive thoughts and love to my friend Phyllis.  She is down at the Moffitt Center and will go through surgery tomorrow.  I told her that she could do this, she is strong.  She texted me back and said she was not sure that she was strong enough.  That she was anxious not knowing what to expect.  I texted her back an inane comment that I understood what she was going through and that I knew she could do it.  I thought about that stupid response.  I texted her back.  I have not gone through what she is going through.  I understand the not knowing part.  I understand that we question our strength and ability, but everything is unknown, and that is the scariest part of all.  I texted her back again and this time I simply reminded her that she only has one job.  To breathe.  That is all.  It doesn't matter what is going to happen, the doctors will deal with that.  All she has to do is to keep breathing.  She is going to Moffitt.  They are leaders in this field.  She has hired the best doctors she can.  She has put her trust in these doctors, and they are the ones that have to know what is going on and what to do.  That she was anxious not knowing what to expect is understandable, but doesn't matter.   All she has to do is breathe.  She texted me back and I could tell, that it had hit home, that had helped her to remember what was her job.
Just breathe.
I say I don't fight my little "c".  But I guess that I am fighting a passive aggressive fight.  I hired Dr. M to do all the battling for me, to lead the war and to use the weapons of mass destruction.  I take the meds he picks out.  Well, most of them.  I take the chemo.  Other then that if I eat and rest and just breathe then I have done all that I have to do. 
I can do that, I can breathe.
And the final word before I return to my scarves is what about that Saints/49ers game!!!  I mean talk about great football!!!  I texted back and forth with my friend in Delaware as we sent such exciting texts as "What a pass"  "What a catch"  "wow" and then finally "what a game".  I love watching sports of most kinds.  Not so crazy about violent sports that involve hitting each other, but this time of year during the football playoffs, I am sitting in my living room knitting and watching the games.   Yelling at the TV with my advice, disappointment in a play or my exhilaration at a great play.  Oh yeah!  And then we move to basket ball and I love the play offs and the Sweet 16.  I don't pay that much attention during the regular season, but once they have separated out the wheat from the shaft, so to speak, I do love to watch the teams that are hitting on all cylinders.  The hail Mary passes, the catches surrounded by the other team and falling to the ground under all the other players and not dropping the ball.  It is never good to drop the ball.  hee hee
Okay, sports, weaving, good wishes, a happy life, oh yeah!!!  This is starting out as a magical year, and now once again to move my fingers in the soft yarns and weave or knit the magic.  Grasping some of the fairy dust that floats unseen before our eyes, the magic of the flowers and trees and rocks and water and animals, the birds, the people, and catch it and weave it into my project.  Then the biggest part of magic of all, sharing the scarf or shawl or whatever the project with others.  That is why I love making things with my hands, that is what I love about playing with others on the stage, that is what I love about sports. 
That is what I love about this world
this life
this magic that is all around all of us.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I love this year

Good things just keep coming my way.  I am not saying that last year was bad, but it was a year filled with challenges.  But this year only two weeks into it, I just have to say it has been one memorable event after another.

Thursday Jan, from Monticello and I drove into Tallahassee to get the yarn for the shawl she will make this weekend.  She chose a palette of creams, dusty blue and dusty rosie pink.  Together all the yarns look beautiful.  We are all going to make a scarf or a shawl using the same method, and from just looking at the choices I have seen for the four of us that have bought our yarn together they are all going to look so different.  And we are going to have a wonderful time.  There are nine of us in the class, a lot for that kind of class.  Usually the instructor limits the class to six, but we just overwhelmed her and by the time she realized how many of us she just agreed to let us all attend.  It may be a large group but most of us know each other, and I am sure by the end of the first class we will all be good friends and laughing and helping each other.  I am sure by Sunday night there will be a lot of "Isn't that lovely!", "What a beautiful job you did", "I love how those colors came together" 

I love weaving, I weave ribbons now and I love how the textures feel.  How the colors once weaved together remind me of stained glass with the colors blending and shading together to make patterns and designs.  Weaving all these different types of yarns with the different textures and the space between the yarns, I am sure that it will look even more like stained glass.  Another wonderful experience for this year.  To be with friends, make a few new ones and learn and work with my hands and watch the magic in my fingers as they work across the loom and take open space and fill it with woven colors and textures of yarn and maybe ribbon into something soft and warm.

Jan and I had a lot of fun and looked at wedding things also since our beloved Amanda is having an (un)wedding this month.  All of the older woman, the abuela's from the stage company are coming together to help these to precious people start off their marriage together surrounded by loved ones and good wishes.  Jan and I are pushing in to do things for the event, and will help Amanda to decorate the Woman's club and the gazebo.  It will be a small, lovely and fun event.  Emphasis will be on fun here.  We want them to have lots of happy moments to remember and photos to keep.  Another wonderful time in my life.

Then we drove across town to Office Depot.  Jan wanted to get the posters for the Stage Company's production of Nobody's Perfect.  Jack and Jan are directing, my precious Ms Moon is one of the four characters.  The amazing Jon Taylor will be playing the part of a man half of the time who is dressed like a woman.  Jon is truly a gifted actor.  And he and Mary have played together before.  Most memorably when each of them played like 5 different characters with five different accents and changes of clothes.  Jack and Jan directed them in that play also.  They are both just so very talented.  Shoot, our little stage company has so many talented actors.  Jack and Jan produce almost every show for our little stage company.  That is so much work.  Jan had made these posters and they were bright and simple, had great photos and hopefully will draw the attention of our community.  It will be a great show, and a lot of fun.  George, who has done our radio plays, was in the Curse of Nergal and in our last production, Sin, Sex and the CIA  is also in this play, and rounding out the cast of four is a new young woman in her teens and everyone just brags about her talent.  While we waited for the posters to be laminated Jan said she needed to get a new printer.  She wanted one of those multi taskers, print, copy, scan and fax.  She wanted an ink jet, not a laser printer, so we found the right aisle and started looking at all the choices.  There must have been more then a dozen different brands and then each of the brands had at least two choices.  After comparing price, tasking ability, size and brand she decided on an HP one.  It must be last year's model because it was a great deal, so we each bought one.  I have an adequate printer that I have never been that happy with, and as I am starting to increase my business with Sittin On A Porch soap company, I need to have a reliable printer.  We walked back and forth through the store, over to the laminating area, across to paper, back to printers, across to ink pen refills and so forth.  We talked and laughed walking back and forth.  Jan is such a precious person and I just don't spend enough time with her.  I don't know why, we always enjoy ourselves.

We loaded our bags and printer boxes into the back of the toy, we had driven to Tallahassee with the top down, but once in town the temps were dropping and the sky clouding over, so the top had gone back up.  Now we made our last stop at New Leaf Market.  We walked in and the smell of the buffet wafted out to meet us, making our stomachs grumble.  I needed to pick up some oils to make soap and lip balm and moisturizer.  Jan wanted to pick up a few groceries.  We paid for our new treasures and headed back towards Monticello.  Jan had rehearsal.  We stopped by to see Carolyn on our way home so she could show Jan her yarn and see what Jan had picked up.  Carolyn redid her home last year and she did such a beautiful job.  It really came out lovely.

When I got home I checked my phone messages and there was one from the Director of MAD Co.  It is the Music and Dance stage company at the Opera House.  It is also music and dance classes for people in our little community.  We are hoping to give a scholarship to students in this stage company, from our little stage company.  I gave the Director a call.  She is in the process of casting the Fantasticks.  Yes, the longest running musical on Broadway.  The beautiful lovely Romeo and Juliet type of story done in a very minimal set, with some of the most beautiful songs in the American Song book. I am excited that she is going to produce this show.  We had another director who tried for years to produce this show and was never able to do so, but in his memory we will do it this March.  I am not a singer or a dancer or a gymnast, so what part could I play in this production?  The Wall.  There is one part that can be played as a man or a woman.  There are no lines, just silence.  The part does interact with the other actors, moves props, and plays an active role, but just no talking.  Oh, I am so all over this!  Yep, I thought about it over night, talked to Judy.  She and I are co-directing the Spring Murder Mystery, and I will be tired from doing this play, but I still think I can give my all to both.  Judy supported me.  Ms Moon told me she was excited for me.  Okay, I can do this.  

Then I found out last night that the part for the young woman is going to be played by two woman in MAD Co.  I love these two young ladies.  They are very talented and good friends and they will split the role, each playing 3 performances.  They are so excited to be in the show, and I can not believe I will get to play with them also.  The grandmother getting to spend time with girls I view as grand daughters.  Shoot, I have played the part of a grandmother cat in the production of Hot Dogs, Cool Cats, which many of these young people were in.  Sigh, this is going to be a wonderful experience to get to work with these talented people.

Friday, Judy and I went over to see Ms Moon.  This was the first time I had laid eyes on that precious woman since she got back from Cozumel.  She looked fabulous!  And it was so great to see Ms Judy also, I haven't see that woman for way too long.  She is stage managing Nobody's Perfect so is getting to play with Ms Moon at rehearsals.  Lucky women.  I left these two precious ladies and headed to Thomasville where I did my monthly stab in the chest.  They take my blood samples from my port which is up near my shoulder on my chest.  In my usual dark, sick sense of humor I have grown found of these monthly visits to see the wonderful ladies who work in the lab and draw our blood.  I tease them about stabbing my chest with sharp objections, they laugh and threaten to stab me again if I do not behave.  I asked for copies of my medical records to send to Social Security as I creep closer to obtaining SS disability.  I hate having to apply for disability.  I know I put the money in the system.  I know I am no longer able to work.  I know that this money could make the difference between me surviving within the next few years or whether I get to have an outrageous life.  But I hate the title, disabled.  Giving my blood was again painless and actually a joy as I met a woman and her loving son as they were in the lab.  Such a vivacious 82 year old lady, and her son, so good to her.  And the ladies in the lab are always such a joy to spend those five minutes with.  They got me in as quickly as possible because they knew I had a sonogram following their visit.  I said hello to some of my friends and then headed over to the Ambulatory Center and a very kind young woman did the sonogram and was very patient.  She had warmed that cold gel they put on you to run the machine.  She talked to me about what they look for in a liver.  She did not attempt to read it, and I did not ask her to, but I did ask her to explain what this test does and what they can see from it.  It was quite enlightening.

The only difficulty in dealing with the lab and tests was that I was not able to drink or eat anything from dinner Thursday night until about 2:30 pm on Friday.  So I was hungry.  I grabbed some food on my way home.  First I stopped by the Opera House and did a few things that Lisa asked me to do to get ready for the show, and then on I headed home  I had about half an hour to eat and rest before getting dressed in my white top and black pants and headed up to the Opera House for the Elvis show. 

We had over 100 people for dinner.  Oh yeah!!!  We need the money at the Opera House, so a large crowd was so welcome.  We also had 80 reservations for show only.  The serving group were all young people plus Kevin and I.  We are both on the Board and are just trying to do our part to help keep this Opera House going.  Kevin also has his own stage company and I am on the Board of the Opera House's Stage Company, so we have worked together many times.  Two of the "kids" are the young ladies who will be in the Fantasticks with me.  I had worked with most of the "kids" and have seen them on stage in the various productions.  They have grown up in the Opera House. 

The crowd was happy and jovial.  They drank beer and wine and laughed and talked until the buzz in the room filled all of us with the excitement of the show.  One table had eight woman, two of which were celebrating their birthday.  They were a hoot, and our Mr. George entertained them and took photos for them and they had laes and flags and presents and cards and a chocolate ganache cake.  They had a fabulous time.  We served the salad and by the time we had put all the salads out to the 100+ people some were done and the evening began.  The forward movement took us through the evening, through the three courses and coffee.  All the servers coming out and singing happy birthday to the two ladies at table six.  The whole room sang along.  The meal moved swiftly, the kids were great and knew their tasks and did them as pros.  The audience was happy and full, most cleaned their plates, including the yellow cake with the cream cheese icing.  Then Denise flashed the lights and everyone stood up and started the historic walk up the wide old wooden stair case taking them up into the gorgeous old theater.  Brandon and his mother handled the seating reservations and did a great job making sure to fill the audience front to back and get everyone filed in with the least amount of anxiety.  Downstairs the servers never skipped a beat.  We started breaking down the tables, clearing the napkins and trash and remaining utensils and dishes.  No one told anyone what to do, everyone just started working together to complete the task.  Then Denise, our Chef, called for the volunteers to eat dinner.  We all kept working, finally she and I managed to coach most of them over to eat and sit and talk about the event.  We listened to the concert above our heads and heard and felt the enthusiasm from the audience.  

When everything was done, and the girls were in the kitchen finishing up drying and putting the dishes away.  I was tired after a long day and asked to go, and was sent on my way with hugs and sweet words.

I came home and sat here thinking about all the wonderful things in my life right now.  I will leave for weaving class in a couple of hours.  When I close this post, I will turn on my yoga. 

I spent a lovely day taking care of my health and seeing friends yesterday.  A memorable evening where I spent time with more friends and even was able to sit and have dinner with the lovely sweet little Miss Olivia, my favorite Olivia.  She is growing up so fast and she and her sisters are all beautiful and sweet young ladies and I just adore them.  I have other exciting news, but I want to wait until I have all the information before I discuss it further here.  Right now, I am just marvelling how much I love this year.

A weekend of weaving.  The Denver/Patriot game tonight, and I am a gator, so of course, I am a fan of Tebow.  I loved watching him as a Gator, I still love watching him as a pro.  In so many ways my nephew Nathaniel reminds me of Tebow.  They both are tall handsome blue eyed young men, who are intelligent, funny, kind and generous.  Then Monday is a holiday and it will still be this brutal cold.  Aren't you proud of me that I have not whined until now about how miserably cold it is here?  The sun is shining and the winter blue sky, clear and crystal with the cold air, so it looks beautiful from my chair next to the window.  If I did not have such fun things to do today with some of my most favorite people, believe me I would not be leaving the house. 

Monday, I have a Board Meeting for the Opera House, and it will be a happy one after this show last night.  Tuesday I will get to see Dr. M and then Tuesday night I will attend a meditation with Geeta, Manju, Janak and Baa, there may be a few other friends also, you can never tell.  Thursday I will meet my new financial Advisor and then I have a Board Meeting with the Stage Company.  Saturday I have the greenhouse class and that evening a vegan get together with the sweet and amazing Genevieve.  Yes, another booked week.  But you know, this is who I am.  And after 56 years behind me and only a few ahead of me, why am I trying to fight this strong nature of mine.  I am a totally fast forward, full speed ahead or a totally stopped and not moving kind of person.  No, I am not a moderator person.  I tend to eat, drink and sleep in a pretty healthy moderate way.  Not being excessive on those accounts, but when it comes to living life, nope, full speed ahead, or sitting in my red chair in total stop.  Maybe that is one of the secrets to my success as a cancer patient, is the treatments can be extreme, and then you must rest in the full stop mode.  And as I spend the rest of my days in the heightened sense of a hurricane is coming and I know it will hit, but I am not sure when mode, it helps me to continue to get up each morning, do my yoga, live my life and be happy.  But it does get exhausting ever vigilant watching and waiting for the shoe to drop.  I know the cancer is in me.  I know it is controlled.  I know that the cancer every moment is looking for a way to take over again and do its job by growing and effecting as many cells in my body as it can before I die.  I still choose not to fight this disease.  I still choose not to sit in this red chair and feel sorry for myself and watch life pass me by.  I still choose to learn and live and laugh and all the time I know that somewhere just like on the weather channel, there is a storm a brewing and there will be consequences to pay.  But the best way to be prepared for that final storm is to have lived the life I want now, so when it is time to pay the piper and go I will have a life to leave.  I have been in nursing homes and seen the people stuck there.  People who did not live their lives.  For whatever their story, they do not have a life to leave, so there they sit, stuck in place.  Stuck not ever completely in this world, and unable to move on to the next one. 

No, that will not be me.  I hope to be like my dearest beloved Colin, at the end saying "wow, what a wonderful life, I have no regrets"