Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Off to Christmas land!

Well, the parties are done. We are now the proud owners of an action figure Moses (living in the dollhouse) and a Herman Munster bobblehead (living in the studio) from the White Elephant from Saturday. Today, we had the TTC staff party at the Edgewater (eggs benedict, yum) and now we can add a FABULOUS mexican cow bank and a projector that blows images up on the wall to our haul. All in all, the white elephants have been good to us this year. I am quite fond of the cow bank. I think I will name her Pamela....big udders.....

This afternoon is a senior matinee and then we are out of here!!! I'll spend this afternoon doing a bit of cleaning (I hate coming home from vacation to a dirty house) and finish packing. Tomorrow morning we'll pack the boys and take them to the vet (pray for them!) and then we are off to Iowa! Miraculously, all the presents fit in my suitcase- and it's clocking in at only about 45lbs! And there is a little bit of extra space! WOW. It looks like we'll have a white Christmas after all, and we now have proper footwear, so we are set! Marty will make his debut, I think he's nervous, but he'll be fabu! They're all "just folks"- so it'll be fun. We'll hang with my friend Susan (WAHOO!!! HERE WE COME!) and with family and friends that might as well be family...and Marty will get to enjoy the family tradition of M&M Bingo at the family Christmas do...He's not a Christmasy kinda guy, it will probably be a bit of a shock to his system. But everyone is down to earth and the food is great so there you go. Bob's your uncle. Actually, he's my uncle, and there are two of them...and a cousin....we're not very original with family names. Since I won't have access to the internet while we're gone so MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Party, party, party.

Well, we survived Winterland. I have to say, for those of y'all who didn't see it- my husband was HOT as Mr. Granger- singing "Storm Comin'" in that white suit... yowza wow. I know he doesn't get it- all he can think about is the fat suit (since he lost all that weight) and thinking he looks like Colonel Sanders- but I tell you... we women know. There was so much authority with the white suit and the strength of the song and I tell you- my husband can SING! Grrrrrrrrr. I'm very proud.

Now we're in party grand central. It's just one holiday event after another until we leave for Iowa once week from today (Already? How the heck did that happen?) We had the cast party, we went to the show, tonight is the NWA party at our house, Saturday- a white elephant party, Sunday- our lifegroup celebration, Wednesday- the TTC party, 2 matinees and a partridge in a pear tree! Yikes. I have a wee bit more shopping to do, which I will finish this weekend. And then we are off! The midwest had a big ice storm, I am hoping it's all out of their system.

When we leave, we will board the boys at the vet. Max is still doing pretty well- I am a bit concerned to see how he handles being boarded- for those that pray- please pray for him. Mickey seems to have recovered pretty well from his kidney infection and is as fat and ornery and chatty and lovey as ever. The boys have taken to "worshipping" the space heater. There's a quilt on the floor one side and a box with a baby blanket on the other and both are usually occupied. I guess we have one more Christmas with them- even though we won't be here. We'll celebrate our family Christmas the night before we leave. So that's all the news that is fit to print. If I don't get to blog again, have a very merry Christmas, extend grace, love and enjoy your families and remember, Jesus is why.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Well, Max seems to be rallying. He is responding to his "baby food soup." It's nice to see him more alert and he's even played a little, he even came running for treats- which we haven't seen him do in months. But it is more work. What to do. What to do. I'm glad my baby feels better.

I am TIRED. We are halfway through performances of Winterland- it seems to be going pretty well, the audiences love it. I find myself a bit frustrated with it technically. Light cues aren't there....people start singing or talking and their microphones aren't on- which to me is VERY frustrating because the audience misses some important stuff. I guess my standards are too high. It's been fun- but it's been a lot of work on top of a lot of work at work, and some pretty stressful personal life stuff as well- so I'll be happy when it's finished.

Now I am just working on trying to get Christmas together- I have one more present for Marty I need to get, and a trip to Trader Joe's should finish my shopping. Then it's a matter of getting it all to Iowa. Stupid airline weight limits- my mom suggested an extra suitcase, I suggested self-control on her part. OY. We may have to ship some stuff back from Iowa. Well, I guess that's all folks....more later when we have a life again.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Holding pattern...

Dang skippy, we are TIRED. The play is coming along- and soon...will be over. Then, the tough decision time, I guess. Max continues much the same. Lots of medicine and liquids (now he's on baby food "soup"- 1/2 cup a day- bet he feels like his teeth are floating- poor guy) and still the hardest little poops in the world. Who knows. He still isn't his "old self." But he does purr and like attention a little, mostly, he just sleeps. Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts- I know I can feel it- please continue- we need all the help we can get right now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


As many of you may or may not know.... Our kitties are 14 and 15 years old this year- and they are very geriatric. Mickey has IBD and is actually doing very well with his treatments- but Max- not so much. Max has been chronically constipated for the past several months and this morning, we took him to the vet for his umpteenth enema. But he has gotten very old, very quickly in the past 6-8 months- he's become frail and thin and not himself. He's become a loner, he doesn't play, or let Marty carry him like a baby or sit in my lap anymore.

Tonight, Max is home. We had a long chat with the vet this evening. We think is probably time to let him go. He is not rallying and is losing weight rapidly, which means there's an underlying issue. He usually does pretty well for a spell after an enema. The vet has informed us the next step to maintain and keep him going would probably require IV's of special fluids every other day- and we don't think anyone in our family would handle that well. Our life is crazy right now- work is busy and we have rehearsal on nights and weekends for the church play. The kitten has always had an amazing gift for bad timing. SO- we have decided, to actually wait until after the church play to make any for sure plans- just because it's just too much to deal with right now. We would also like for him to be at home when it's time to go. This, of course, is providing he doesn't take a turn for the worse. Tonight, he is happy to be home, has eaten some favorite food and is in a favorite chair resting. We appreciate any and all prayers. He has always been my "Baby"- he's always had a very kitten-like personality- right up until the past 6 months- for those of you who don't know- he's 14 years old and I got him when he was 4 months old. Most of my friends and family don't think he exists because he's so shy, he always hides- so when I came home one day- to find him sprawled and purring on Marty's lap when we were dating- I knew Marty was "the one." Also, for you intercessors, Max LOVES prayer. When I would pray in my kitchen when I was single, he would beg for me to pick him up and I would have to carry him around with me while I prayed. When Amy Ledford would come and pray, we would always know God was present because Max would lay on the ground (this from the invisible cat!) and purr. He still purrs when I pray for him, but not like he used to. I don't want my baby to suffer- this is probably one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. We would appreciate continued prayers for wisdom, grace and mercy.
Thanks very much

It's been insane...

I did so enjoy a restful Thanksgiving weekend. I am so glad I did- because the poop has really hit the fan since. Highlights:

-The plumbers were supposed to reconfigure the plumbing for the new washer and dryer in the costume shop Monday morning at 9- several phone calls later, they showed up at 2 on Tuesday.

-The washer and dryer are scheduled to be delievered DURING the matinee today, which will be heard and I can't deal with the delivery guys because I am having to dress the show. Lowe's is giving me the runaround about rescheduling...outcome pending. ARRRGGG!!!

-Mickey slowed eating again, I'll pick up his appetite stimulants at some point today. Hopefully, they will work.
-I dropped Max off at the vet for yet another enema this boys are not known for good timing....and we are playing musical finances once again.

-I am trying to reorganize costume storage. It was a DISASTER. Seriously. So I did a major purge (About 15 lawn and garden bags worth to a school, homeless ministry and anyone else who would take anything) and I am trying to organize what is left in the midst of washer and dryer drama. I have only a week or two to get this done before As You Like It loads in....speaking of...

-I have to start designing As You Like It...and read the tomorrow.

-All this is going on in the midst of Winterland crunch time. We have rehearsal EVERY night. It's fun, and I think it's really starting to look like a play we'll be proud of, but it is A LOT of work. I am hot and sweaty by the end of rehearsal.

All this in the midst of holiday prep, which is actually on schedule- a few more gifts to buy, putting the cards together etc...then it's party! Party! Party!

I'll be so glad when January is here. But God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

We are rescheduling the washer and dryer to be delivered tomorrow. Thankfully, I had the wisdom to have the plumbers hook up the old washer and dryer.

Monday, November 19, 2007


During this very hectic time of year- with tech, rehearsals, more tech, more rehearsals....more tech, more rehearsals- all on top of everyday living, getting ready for the holidays etc, etc.-it's very easy for me to forget to be thankful. So I am writing down what I am thankful for- just to remind here are the things that I am deeply thankful for...

-God loves me, Jesus died for me, Holy Spirit guides me....even when I am a booger. Grace is a beautiful thing.
-My husband. I am constantly amazed at how deep my love for him even haunts my dreams- this deep, deep love. I am so proud of him- his integrity, his creativity, his hutzpah... AND I even LIKE him- how awesome is that?
-My family.
-My friends, near and far, new and old...even if I am not the best at keeping up with them, I carry them in my heart.
-"The Boys"- I am thankful for every purr, every day, every morsel of food eaten- even though the constant medication wears me out at times. I shall miss them when they are gone.
-A roof over my head, clothing to wear and food to eat. Sometimes, I take the basics for granted, which is a shame, since many people don't have the basics. We have the basics, and then some...actually- we have quite a bit more.
-A job that pays the bills and a place where I can express my creativity. This has been a hard one for me this year, for a number of reasons- but I am VERY thankful, nonetheless.
-Creativity- the ability and the means to be able to create and play.
-My church family- and my church- these are just great folks to have in your life. I am so thankful for all of them.
-Laughter. I don't know what we'd do with out it.
-Nature- proof of God's existence- big, small- there is beauty everywhere.

Thanksgiving. Don't leave home without it.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My baby boy, Mickey....

...kind of quit eating last week. Oh sure, he'll eat as many treats as we can manage to stuff in him and will nibble at his food- but he's not really eating. He's dropped a pound in about a week. This strikes great fear into my heart. At some point, his meds for his IBD will stop working. I am praying this is not that time...but I know it's coming. The thing is- the little stinker doesn't act sick! He's all perky and happy and clingy and lovey. At least with Max, we can tell when he's not feeling good. I will hear the results of Mickey's blood test tomorrow and hopefully, we'll see what is up. I just hate to think of losing them- it's hard to believe I have had these kitties for 14 years...15 in February. I've had them pretty much my whole adult life, they have lived in 7 apartments/houses and 4 states. They drove across the country with me. They have outlasted countless boyfriends, 2 fiancees and ADORE the daddy they finally ended up with. I knew Marty was "the one" when I came home one day to find Max, the cat that most of my friends and family doesn't think exists because they have never seen him, sprawled and purring in Marty's lap. Mickey has enough personality for 9 kitties...seriously. He talks ALL THE FREAKING TIME...he carries his "baby," a grey hamburger shaped thing that I think is a mouse, around in his mouth while he is talking. He talks with his mouth full. It's hilarious. He sits on Marty's arm while he's at the computer. He'll sit with me and look adoringly and longingly at me...he's totally in love with his mommy. He has to sit at the dinner table with us, or else he will end up ON the table. He's very tough- he actually had to go to the vet a couple of weeks ago to get his matted hair shaved and was growling at the vet under sedation! That's my boy! And he was my constant companion as I spent many a happy hour this summer reading on the balcony. He likes being outside as much as I do.
I know that I will miss him like crazy. I am thankful to wake up each day to find I have one more day with my beloved feline companions. I actually pray that they will just one day go to sleep and not wake up- that they would go in peace. I just hope that these, their last days, are good ones and that they know how much they are loved. I just hope I have the strength to make potentially difficult decisions... they have been through so much this year, I don't know how much more they can handle. I don't know how much more we can handle. But they have been the biggest blessing to me while I have had them. They have kept the "lonelies" at bay.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Being Better

So I just read these two books this evening- For Women Only and For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn...they were very illuminating. I am a bit skeptical of "relationship" books- because everyone thinks they are the world's leading authority. Like the guy who just got married telling me why he kissed dating goodbye... whatever.... But I found these books very helpful. I didn't have any earth shattering revelations, but there were good reminders and some very practical "how to do this" kind of things. For instance, if you are clued in to any sort of Christian marriage counseling blah-bitty-blah...we all know men need to feel respected over feeling loved- heck, the BIBLE says that....but what does that MEAN???? ARRRRGGGG!!! HOW DO I DO THAT???? Believe me, after almost 2 years of marriage- I personally feel like I have no idea how to be a good wife. My friends tell me that this is normal- my frustrations and inability to communicate. That's comforting... I think.

My mother (whom I adore and admire for many reasons) like her mother before her and so on and so on...nagged to get things done. I don't want to do that- I don't want to be that way- I don't think it's particularly effective and it makes everyone miserable along the way. SO what do I do? I hide. And I do that at work too- I stuff it all down and then eventually it explodes and my poor husband is like "WHAT THE HECK?" But I think he would find the tips in For Men Only very helpful in dealing with me in those situations. (BIG HINT HERE) It was quite astonishing to find that I am not as unique as I think I am. : ) And comforting as well.

I think any man would benefit from reading For Men Only as it translates "woman-ese" quite well, in my's bang on the money. And Jeff writes with great humor. I found the For Women Only beneficial as well, and I hope Marty does too. I went to a wedding this summer where the pastor talked about how marriage is all about two people who think they are totally alike trying to live together after they find out they are not- and there was so much truth for that. But I rejoice in the differences (most of the time) but I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, the world's leading authority on marriage...I wish I were, for my husband. Because he TOTALLY deserves the wife of his dreams and I want to be that. I want him to be proud and want to show me off and think I am the best thing since sliced bread...BECAUSE I love him so much and am soooo very, very proud of him and his talent and his art...and I appreciate how he helps around the house and I just think he's really cute, uh, I mean he's a big 'ol GRIZZLY OF LOVE. I meant my vows when I said them (although, it's all a bit of a blur now) so I really want my marriage to be AMAZING and AWESOME- but that takes work...I think it's totally worth it. I think Marty is totally worth doing whatever I can to be a great wife. I just hope I succeed more than I fail.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Doing Better

Thanks to all those praying types out there. I am feeling better and a little less overwhelmed. Thanks also to good friends who kick you in the tush and remind you what is what (Susan, Cassie) I am doing a little better. Tomorrow will be a "Shopping Day" so not as hard at work and I am taking Friday off...well...for the most part. I have to take the cat to the vet and go discuss Christmas musical costumes at night. I am really seeking God to order my days. I don't know that it's really working yet- but I ask Him every morning.

I am looking forward to going home for Christmas. But it won't really be home. Mom and Dad have the new condo- which I am sure will be fun and all...but I really would have loved to have taken Marty home. We'll spend time with my family and we'll take a trip up to Galena and visit the old haunts. I am hoping for a white Christmas- but not during travel time. I am looking forward to seeing my family- I haven't seen most of them in about 5 or 6 years. Many of my cousins have children I have never clapped eyes on. Several children. Wow. I can't wait to see Susan and raise a little "heck," of course, we're old and it won't be like the old days- lifecheck anyone? No smuggling 3 course dinners into the movies or anything...and that's just what is repeatable. : ) But true friends feel like they've never been apart, I notice. I am a little concerned about leaving the kitties in their old and fragile states...but I will have to trust God on that one. I'm not sure what to do about Christmas shopping this year- we've sorted out with Marty's family that we'll use what money we would spend on Christmas to have fun when we're on vacation in April....and that's totally cool with me. My parents...well, their love language is gifts- but we're trying to get them to reign it in since we have to bring stuff back. And I'm trying to decide if I should just do shopping there... I already know what I'm getting Marty. Hee, hee, hee.

Ahhh...October through December...the holidays. We've already had a couple offers for Thanksgiving- don't know what we're doing yet. We've also had an offer for a "Get-drunk-and-decorate-the-tree" party after Thanksgiving that I think sounds quite fun.... I guess they don't hang the breakable ornaments that day. I really like this time of year- it's like there is always some tangible thing to look forward to. First, we have Trunk-or-Treat at church- and I enjoy that. Then there's Thanksgiving- and I have to say, sitting around a table and eating and talking with people you like and love is just about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. And Christmas- more of the same...a big birthday bash for Jesus! AND you get to decorate your house!!! Dress it up!!! I LOVE that!! My poor husband.... I don't think he understands how much fun I have dressing up the house. I dress up people for a living- I think houses are as much fun. But I love this time of year. The leaves are gorgeous- in spite of all the rain- God's beauty is all around. It just feels like it's time to light the fire, gather up some loved ones, have some hot chocolate and oatmeal cookies, cuddle up and hunker down...all in a well decorated house.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I am weary. Everything is ok. But dang skippy, I am DOG TIRED. Or should that be DAWG tired? I don't know. There is a lot going on in my world- and I feel overwhelmed and like I can't keep up. I've had 2 days "off" in the past 4-5 weeks and one of those was spent on the couch with a cold. Day and night I go, go, go, go.... I know I need to stop...I don't know how.

At work, we have a shortened build for the Christmas show- that combined with a lack of help...well, there you go. On weekends, I am in rehearsal....what weekend? What sabbath? And now- with my husband's art taking off (YOU GO, BABY! I am SOOOO PROUD!!!) there are openings and hangings and receptions- and I just can't keep up with it all...and that doesn't include- grocery shopping, paying bills, geriatric kitty care, house cleaning, preparing for trunk-or-treat...praying, praying, praying.....THERE IS SO MUCH TO PRAY FOR!!! And I just don't feel like I have the time or the energy.

There is drama at Taproot- it's just been a rough year. I am having "issues" that I need to pray through- try to figure out how to maintain my integrity, be Christ-like in my behavior (as much as I am capable of, at least) and not get walked all over.... They've hired 3 more people in the administrative offices... and after a year of hearing "We need to get production some help, we need to get production some help..." I confess- I am having some forgiveness and trust issues at the moment. I want to scream, to be honest. I mean- what is going to take? Letting a production go completely to crap? Seriously. I don't know that I can not do my best- I am not wired that way- so suffice it to say- THAT is creating some serious inner tension in my world and I'm not quite sure what to do with all of it at the moment.... and then.....

If you read Marty's blog- you know all about the letters, the whisperings, the gossip (from which we were thankfully excluded) about our church leadership. And today- Milt announced he was leaving. I could just feel all the emotion in the congregation and I couldn't help but cry (it sucks being an intercessor sometimes, well, not really) It's going to be hard...but I know on the other side- it'll be brilliant. I know it- because even though we were out of the loop- that's what God has been showing me about church for awhile- about last fall, I sensed that BIG BIG changes were coming- like the HANG ON TO YOUR BRITCHES kind of changes.... I felt that our good friend, Jeff Berryman- seriously needed to hold onto his britches- because of those changes...and now he's the interim preaching pastor. Well, color me shocked and surprised. In the practical- I had no idea how what God had shown me was happening in the spiritual would manifest- and it's all terribly interesting to watch- and still requires a great deal of prayer. I have been through hard times at church before. Some were handled well, some...not so much. I can't say it's something I enjoy. But I truly believe that God causes ALL things to work together for good- not some things, ALL things. He has been faithful. I hang on to that. And I do trust Him.

But I am tired. I am bone weary. I am emotionally worn out. I see no relief in sight.

That doesn't mean good things aren't happening. They are. That doesn't mean I am miserable. I'm not. I am just TIRED. And I am praying that God would refresh me and grant me the strength to keep going- because if He doesn't, I dunno.... I just don't know. I am forgetting stuff because there is so much going on in my head. I don't feel light burdens right now-which means I am probably doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out to fix it.... I would love a day off, but I can't figure out when to take it- there are meetings and fittings and matinees.... at home, there is grocery shopping, and cleaning, and vet appointments and I have to be out 3 nights this just doesn't end. I know, whine, whine, whine...but you keep that up too long- you get burned out. My question is this...
What happens when you burn out and you have to keep going?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The show, the zoo, the trip to Iowa...

I am coming up for air!!! The Importance of Being Earnest opened to a full, laughing and apparently happy house last night. I went for the reception- to eat yummy food and receive accolades..."Yes, I designed the costumes. Yes, thank you. Thank you. We're just so happy they are finished. Yes, the actors look beautiful. No, that isn't a real bird on Lady Bracknell's hat. But thank you, yes, thank you." Can't say I minded the "love" after a quite gruelling build- and I tried to make sure the stitchers and dresser felt it too. They all worked their tushies off. And aside from a few well hidden "fitting" issues, it's a show I am truly proud of. And the hats are FANTASTIC, if I do say so myself, and I do. I had such a good time designing and making them. The last time I made a fabulous hat for Taproot, it got cut because it was TOO pretty. Ack.

So now, I am just trying to catch up with life, pay bills, take the cats to the vet, the husband to the doctor, clean the house, grocery shop, learn my music for the Christmas musical... that sort of thing. I have a few things at work to catch up on as well. Earnest was very all-consuming. On Wednesday, I am teaching a costume workshop to the Seattle Yacht Club drama club...seriously. But it'll help pay for the tickets to Iowa we just bought. We'll be going for Christmas and Marty will get to participate in the annual Bingo game marathon. It's kind of a hoot. I honestly can't remember the last time I went "home." 5 years? Of course, my parents have a spiffy new "retirement condo" so it really isn't "home." But I am hoping we'll make it up to Galena for a visit. And I KNOW we are going to see Susan and Darin- come hell or highwater. I need to see my friend!! There are others I hope I'll get to see as well- but it's the holidays- so it's always a nuthouse, isn't it? Now we'll need to figure out care for the boys. It's so complicated now- but we'll work it out.

Today I went to the zoo. Tomorrow our pass expires and Marty had to work today- so I went by myself. I had fun, took lots of bad pictures- my husband is definitely a better photographer. The jaguar was pacing very close to the glass- it's quite something to have your face a mere 10 inches from that of an agitated male jaguar- I think he was agitated because he couldn't get to all the toddlers otherwise known as "snacks" watching him. He was quite a handsome fellow. It was nice because it was cool so all the animals were active...except the sloth bear... which is unusual as they're usually quite busy and fun to watch. One sloth bear was sleeping with his tongue hanging out- pretty funny. One of the male gorillas seriously was posing for pictures- it was quite hilarious. I also saw the new tiger "cub"- yeah, right- 150 lb. "cub." He was playing with a ball- he's still just a really big kitten. All in all it was enjoyable- but it was amazing all the weird looks I got for being there alone- no husband, no kids. Whatever.

So that's all the exciting news. You'll have to check out Marty's blog for all the news on art shows and the dog modeling contest we emceed. I screwed up saying "Seamus"- I was VERY tired. I think "Booboo La Roo" was my favorite name though..... I am currently losing the battle with a cold that's been going around- can't say I'm surprised- living on Diet Coke and chocolate while working 15 hour days can't be good for your immune system. Well, that's all for now.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Confession time!

Confession time. Yikes.

I feel like I've had such a negative attitude about everything lately. Lately being the last few months. I can hardly stand to be around myself. It's like everytime I say something, it's something that tears someone or something down- and while at times it may be legitimate (you know what I mean) I just can't stand it anymore. It's like I just can't help myself. Negative. Negative. Negative. Gripe. Moan. Complain. Whine. Whine. Whine. I AM AT MY WITS END. I'd appreciate some prayer for this- I know I'M praying. But it's like, "Father forgive me, help me not to be negative and say negative things" and then BOOM! The next thing out of my mouth....

I don't know what the cause is- probably stress- vet bills, tight finances, work issues, lack of affirmation, been a tough year, etc. etc..... but I feel like I complain all the stinkin' time and I am SICK OF IT!!! Gosh. Holy Schmackers- enough is enough! Ah. There it is, out in the open. Muhahaha- take that devil! Now you're DOOMED. Stupid sin. Wish I wasn't so good at it. Father, forgive me. Friends, forgive me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

No, I haven't dropped off the planet....

....but I have been up to my eyeballs at work. We are currently building "The Importance of Being Earnest" and it's crazy. We are building all six women's outfits- all turn of the century. So far, 3 are finished and bits are started on others. They are quite beautiful, if I do say so myself...and I do. I have a great team of stitchers and interns working their tails off- and it definitely shows. I have built 2 hats that are quite extraordinary as well. I have been praying over this production since January- and I think it is paying off. Oscar Wilde would be proud. He was all about pretty people, pretty things and beauty. Well, thus far, there are a lot of pretty things on pretty people and it's all quite beautiful. I probably won't come up for air until October, so don't be alarmed....

In other news- both cats seem to be doing well, this week it will have been a whole month since we have taken Max to the vet. HUZZAH! And Mickey continues to be fat and sassy. Now, we just need to get all the knots out of their fur. Grrr. We will FINALLY close Joseph this week- it feels like the show that has run FOREVER. I survived Christmas musical auditions- I even sang...oddly enough, I didn't get a major singing role...hmmmmm.... BUT my husband did- he will be the VILLAIN....muhahaha....SWEET. If you are in this time zone, y'all need to come and check it out. That's about all the news for now...I will reboot in well!

Friday, July 27, 2007

While the noodles are cooking...

I am making lasagna today for company tomorrow. It's not hard, but it's a bit spendy and time consuming- so it's definitely a treat. People loooooovvveee my lasagna. I don't know what I do different- but there you go.

I've had most of this week off and it's been lovely. I've spent much of my time off sitting on the balcony reading Harry Potter with Mickey in my lap. It's been awesome. As I've never read the books, I figured it's time I found out what all the hullabaloo is about. So I started book one on Sunday night. I'll start book four today. Marty gets frustrated that I can read so fast- but I love reading- and as a kid, that's pretty much what I did. Devoured books. I'm enjoying Harry so far. My goal is to read right through to the end.

This week I also did some shopping and have been working on a couple of designs for a television pilot. I have no idea what the pilot is- a friend asked me to do it. So I've spent some time hunting patterns and swatches and I'll scan and email the sketches today. I'm not building these costumes- so it takes a little more work and research so they can be handed off for someone else to build. But the money is good and we need it for plane tickets for Christmas.
We also emceed the Greenwood Seafair parade (see Marty's blog for details) again- and once again, the pirates were a bit boring. Sigh. And I was ready for them, had the super-soaker loaded and ready to go. Oh well. We also went to a reading of the Christmas Musical for church- it was quite delightful. Makes me wish I could sing. I loved the character I read. We'll see how auditions go. I'm thinking of singing "The wheels on the bus" since it is one of the few songs I am used to singing in public (well, that is, if you count my former kindergartners as "public") I don't know that I have the "stuff" to be able to pull it off. But what's a little public humiliation amongst loved ones? I also mailed my mom's birthday stuff off. Hard to believe she'll be 68- I don't feel old until I realize how old my folks are...and I certainly don't think of them as old. They cruise in their 40's in my brain.

So all in all, a much needed relaxing week. The noodles are cooked, I am off to layer some lasagna.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And the beat goes on...

Joseph is up and running!!! Huzzah. Every year, there is one booger of a show- and this was it! But it's up, it's running- and for the most part, I am through with it. Well...other than trying to rescue the Pharoah's cape which was accidentally placed on the fog machine...and got covered in greasy fog juice. Ew. It was very upsetting, the pharoah's cape was my baby and it took me many, many hours to hand paint it and there's no time or money to replace it. But thanks to some soaking in dish soap, the fog juice came out! Yay! Handy tip for any kind of food or grease stain- spot clean it with dish soap- that's what it's made for!!
So now...we're already into Earnest. The photo shoot is on Monday night, and then I am taking the rest of next week off to rest before the build really ramps up.

In other news, Max has been back to the vet...again. Nothing seems to be wrong- but he did get his bottom shaved and looks a bit like a baboon. Sigh. Welcome to Gordon's Nursing Home for Geriatric Kitties. Currently in residence are "Poodle Paw" who is doing well on his chemo, and "Monkey Butt" who has to be coaxed to eat, but seems to be doing better. The joys of old age and empty pockets.

I haven't waxed spiritual as of late....probably because I feel like I've just been trying to survive and get things done at work and at home. I have prayed and done a little reading- but there have been no great revelations as of late. I think I could do with one, are You listening, God? I've been enjoying Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor and reading about the people who inspired his faith. I really enjoyed reading about Martin Luther King Jr. It blows my mind to think that not so long ago, in our own country- racism was socially acceptable. It really grieves my heart. I know it still exists today-although it may have morphed a bit, but it's just horrible to think that people actually believe that other people, who are God's creation, have less value than they do. It's really a foreign concept to me. I am thankful for that. Although, I confess- there are deep cultural predjudices in me that I constantly have to fight and to be aware of to fight- and that makes me sad as well. Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing guy. I am hoping to read more of his own work. The chapter on G.K. Chesterton was very fun as well- he sounds like he was a hoot. I am hoping to read some of his work as well. So much reading, so little time. Perhaps that is what I'll do on my week off.

Right now I am reading The Golden Compass, because a) the trailer for the movie looks really cool and b) I am intrigued by what is going on with the book. My friend, Jeff, read it and made some interesting observations about how much the author really hates the church and is blatant about it. He said that people were all atwitter about Harry Potter when really, THIS is the set of books to watch out for. So I am intrigued- so far, I'm about 1/3 of the way through it- and haven't seen too much blatant hatred of the church- but it's a good story and very well told. We'll see how it goes. As for Harry Potter...well. I read fiction books about witchcraft when I was a child, I was interested enough to look a little deeper (gasp!) and discovered that witchcraft is spendy, stupid and a lot more work than just waving a wand around! So why bother? And then I tried New Age, a lot of which seemed just plain silly. I worked for a woman who thought she was a reincarnated mayan priest. Have you noticed that everyone who is reincarnated is someone important? There's no "In a past life, I was Joe the poop shoveler." Crazy. But, there's a lot of good counterfeit spirituality in New Age- the people who believe that are some of the most loving people I know. They are some of the most spiritual people I know- they all want to tap into something we all want and crave- something spiritual and supernatural. I think we're wired to desire that. I think that's what I wanted as a kid, I KNOW that's what I wanted as a kid. I wanted to see God. I wanted to talk with Him- for real. I wanted to know His power and supernaturalness. Thankfully, I believe that God wants to show us His supernatural. I really wish more of it would appear in my world now. I miss it. I know He is SUPERNATURAL- and that's one of the things I really love about God- I mean all Satan's crap is just that, counterfeit crap- so why bother when you can have the real deal?

Ok. So I guess that's waxing spiritual.

As for Harry Potter: haven't read the books, enjoyed the movies, wouldn't let small kids near him with a 10 foot pole (too scary and dark) and would let tweens and teens with a discussion. My two cents. Ta da.
Well, it's time for bed and I am looking forward to diving back into The Golden Compass. Good night.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wow. It's been quite a week- we can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the dress rehearsals of Joseph...and it's been a looonnnnnggg tunnel. But the costumes are lovely and all will be well in the world. I am ready to be done and ready for a break that won't come for another week or so...I am pooped. And my brain is pooped.

Speaking of poop- it's been a week. My cousin, Stephanie- who is my age, lost her left hand the night before last in a freak accident at her job at Chrysler. She is left-handed. I can't even imagine. My mom talked with her yesterday- and she is on some BIG juju drugs- she kept giggling and telling mom it would be ok. And it will be, but it will be hard. They reattached her hand but there is no telling when we'll know if she will regain use of it. She and her husband have 5 kids between them- the eldest is about 20- how crazy is that? She had him when we were 17. Wow. So for all y'all praying types- prayer for them would be appreciated.

Other poop- Max couldn't poop. Bless his heart- so there's an unexpected $100 trip to the vet for an enema and a shot to re-hydrate him. He's got some GREAT timing. Poor guy. This is the 3rd time he's been severly constipated, he just shuts down. But he's had some water and eaten today- so he seems to be doing ok. Tomorrow Mickey goes in for a blood test and Thursday will start round 3 of chemo. This is why I have no disposable income.

And just for grins, our closet collapsed this morning. I was outside watering the plants so they wouldn't wilt in the heat of the hot day and couldn't hear Marty yelling for help. It's just been one of those weeks. I am sure my blood pressure is up. Hopefully, things will wind down in a day or two and life will resume being normal. There is always one booger of a show every year- and Joseph seems to be it. But it opens on Friday and there you go. Hallelujah! Well, it's invited dress tonight- I'd better go double check that everyone looks purty.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

La, la, la....

Well, this is just a friendly update. Things for Joseph are still a bit bonkers and I'll have to work every night this coming week (except for the 4th) and all nights next week as well. The joy of tech. Then I have a week (wow, really? A WHOLE week? Jump back Loretta) to put together the photo shoot for Earnest, and of course, we don't have anything in stock that I really like. So I'll be a busy little bee for awhile. After the photo shoot, I am hoping to take most of that week off to recover and rest before the build for Earnest begins and the Road Company starts. Golly- time sure flies in the summer. Things are going pretty well in the costume shop- we have some great interns and some great folks working there. All the "issues" we have had come from outside sources that we have no control over (Tuxedo shop, FedEx) and life goes on.

On the home front- not too much going on. Marty's art continues to gain momentum- and I pray that continues. I also pray that he can sell a couple of pieces to offset the cost of framing the stuff he needs to frame for upcoming shows. The initial investment for this stuff is spendy. I've put "redecorating" on hold because of new tires, vet bills and plane tickets to Iowa for Christmas. Sometimes it really sucks being a grown-up.

Today we have a big trip planned to go to Walmart!!! Oooh. The thrill, the glamour. The nicest Walmart we've found in the greater Seattle metroplex is about 40 minutes north in Everett. It's worth the trip- we don't shop there much- but there are some medicinal type things that Marty uses that are really cheap up there- so there you go. We'll also go to Michael's (I'm making christmas ornaments again this year and need supplies) and Barnes and Noble. We'll also hopefully have dinner with our friends, Joan and Marshall. A fun trip I think. In spite of Walmart.

This morning I spent some time in worship and prayer. It was really nice- I need to make it more of a priority. I just like hanging out with God. I did some praying for an upcoming arts-oriented service at our church. Our church is very "rational" in their approach to God- and we're (I'm?) hoping for some irrational breakthrough. I am hoping that service will help people experience the presence of God in a tangible way that they can trust and that they know is real- and they know that God is a God of emotion as well. I know emotions can be unstable and untrustworthy- but God created them -they were His idea and life would sure be dull without them. We had our arts meeting last night to discuss all this stuff. It's terribly deep. But I think we sounded like a bunch of rational people trying to sort out something that is not rational. Beauty is not rational. The blue of the sky, the beauty of leaves blowing in the breeze, the way a certain chord in music causes tears to well up in your eyes, the way a movie takes you out of yourself... these are things that we have trouble describing- how can we approach it rationally? In the words of Nike- I think we just need to JUST DO IT. Now what that means- well, who knows? God does. So I prayed He'd help us all and help Jeff, who is preaching, and that He would help the congregation- who are about to be stretched. It's amazing to me that God can prepare people beforehand to receive something in the future. To know that He is now softening hearts to receive and be touched and changed by something in the future that we are going to participate in- even when we don't know what that is- is an amazing thing. Well, my husband is home. I guess it's time for the fun to begin! Whoo hoo.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

How I am.

Someone asked me, "How are you?" today and I didn't know how to answer them. I guess I am ok. I have A LOT going on. Joseph is proving to be a challenging show on many levels, and yet, things seem to be going well... I guess. There have been some serious dramas with the tuxedos we're supposed to get for the band, we don't know who is playing who, do they need to change, do they have time to change and where will they change. I am not the designer- and I feel like I am a giant go-between for all these crazy working parts- which is what I am. I feel like I am having to be more "managerial" in my job- and I am still adjusting to that and am not sure how I feel about it. I miss making things and sometimes it really is faster and easier to do something yourself than it is to have to set it up for someone else to do. And I am having trouble finding time to start designing Earnest and be an artist- I am going to take a day tomorrow and just do it.

There is also a lot of internal goofiness happening at work. I see God's hand in all of it, but I can see how some people would not. There's a lot of internal strife, healing and people "stuff" going on. We are smack in the middle of the refiner's fire, and it's not pretty. It's ok. It really is. But it is not fun to go through. I find it astonishing how God is growing individuals and pushing them to places they aren't comfortable and he's working in so many people at the same time and it's all working towards His unified purpose for the company. It's really amazing. And I feel really blessed that I can see that- or I think I would be really discouraged. And I wonder- what is He working in me? I can't see or feel it- but I hope something is happening.

I am trying to learn not to be so busy. I don't really know how. But yet, I don't feel busy. But I do feel busy. I guess I feel busy, but I don't feel like I am seeing any fruit from all the busy- I guess that's how I feel. So- how am I? I am lost. I am busy. I am ok. I am watching God do His thing. I don't really know how I am.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Waiting for strike...

Yep. Seven Keys to Baldpate is mere minutes away from finally being over. The next couple hours will be filled with sorting laundry, restocking, spraying Lysol in shoes, doing laundry and cleaning dressing rooms. Ahhh....the glamour.

It's been a long day- we had fittings for Joseph earlier and later in the day, so I'll have been here since lunchtime. My work schedule will be quite wacky for awhile. Life goes on.

In other news, I desperately want to redecorate the house. Sadly, my finances do not support my vision. I am creative so I'll be able to change a few things- I finished curtains for the the living room this evening. More thrill, more glamour.

Mickey update- as of last week, he weighed almost 10 POUNDS!!! HUZZAH!!! He's responding to his medication and gaining weight. We've been letting he and Max out on the balcony when we're out there or I'm in the kitchen and can watch them. Max thinks it's fine, but Mickey looovvves it out there. He REALLY loves it if his mama comes and hangs out there with him- he's in hog heaven. Since I don't really know how long we'll have him (The vet figures about 2 years before he builds a resistance to drugs) I don't mind a bit. He turned 15 last week. Amazing. Well, the curtain call is over, the actors are running down the stairs...time to get to work.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Got the Blah's today....

Yep. A bad case of the blahs. We had another matinee today- and then it was a scramble to get the drycleaning in. The good news is we're doing lots of student matinees- the bad news is having so many matinees makes it hard to get the drycleaning done. Tonight is 1st rehearsal for Joseph and I'll finally see the costume sketches to see what lays before us. It's a big show, no way around that- but I don't think it'll be too bad- we have a good designer who knows what she's doing. The grind continues....
As I was driving back from the drycleaner, I just felt...blah. All the stress and busy-ness and too much going on that we dealt with before the trip seems to be falling back into place- and I really don't want it to. Suddenly- there are 3 things going on Sunday and Marty's working a billion hours and I will probably be working a billion hours and it all seems so endless. And I feel a bit like a hamster in a wheel and I have to wonder- why are we doing this? Is this what we're supposed to be doing? Is this what God is calling us to? We have a good life. We have enough money to pay our bills and buy food and have savings and a bit of frivolity as well. We have a lovely apartment and a stable place to work that is in my field (at least). Marty's art is taking off. We're slowly making friends- but it's hard. We live in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. All in all, we're blessed. But sometimes....I just want to move to the boonies and do nothing.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Back in the Saddle...

Alaska was amazing. The cruise was relaxing- sad to say- I didn't miss my life in Seattle at all. Although, by lunchtime on Friday- I was really tired of eating. The food was good, not awesome- but good. I think that's ok- if it was awesome and spectacular- I would probably have gained 10 pounds. As it was, I gained 2-3- which I have lost this week thanks to a nasty stomach bug.
Marty is doing a great job of blogging our adventures- so feel free to check his site out. I loved the scenery and wildlife in Alaska. It was so epic and gorgeous and beautiful. The food and the activities and entertainment on the cruise were not as fabu as we expected, but I have to say, the service was very good. Our cabin steward, our waiters, everyone you ran into was very, very nice and I thought great service is one thing Princess really has going for it. I had a really good time.

We enjoyed a few more days off when we got home. We went to movies and chilled out and caught up with life. A little vacation from the vacation.

We hit the ground running on Tuesday with a student matinee. Not much going on this week except playing catch-up with emails and laundry. My stomach bug hit me mid-day on Wednesday and I am still recovering. I was suddenly clammy and nauseous and when Marty cooked bacon at home, it was all over. No, not pregnant- just a bug. This is a good week to be sick though since...

We'll start the Joseph build on Monday. I have a few other projects I am trying to get done this week: invitations to a baby shower I am throwing for a couple of girls at work (done) finishing getting "the garden" planted (done) painting a table for outside, cleaning the house, updating my theatrical portfolio for a talk I am giving on Tuesday to the "Innis Arden Friends of the Arts," paying bills, cleaning, shopping, taking care of ill kitties (Mickey is on day 3 of his 1st round of chemo, so far, so good) and so on, and so on. So suffice it to say- we're busy once again. Although, I've been laying around for a couple of days recovering from this bug. I HATE stomach bugs. Nasty. Uncomfortable. Yuck. That's all for now- check out Marty's blog for photos and details.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Susan and Darin

Susan is one of my dearest friends from high school- she's the one I stay in the most contact with. She is also the one who probably has more blackmail material on me and vice versa than just about anyone on the planet. We got up to some crazy stuff in our younger years- we smuggled full meals into movies, went carousing...hugged strange boys, survived countless and sometimes very WRONG boyfriends- all sorts of stuff. Once she accidentally hit the median on our way back from the movies and actually knocked the car back into alignment! We have laughed much in our day. I still have many letters she wrote me. She is one of my favorite people on the planet- and I miss her like crazy.

She lives with her husband, Darin, in a small town in Iowa. I'm a little embarassed because I haven't met Darin yet, and they've been married over 10 years. Yikes. They have two little boys and live a life that seems content and uncomplicated and sometimes I think, I wish that were my life- but God seems to have called me to other things. But it's not all "roses and parsnips" as my husband likes to say, Susan has MS- and her attitude is amazing- I really admire her (I know she read our blogs to keep up with us-so, Susan- this is SO TRUE) She is one of my heroes. I still remember when she was an EMT and she flopped on my chair in my bedroom and announced she simply HAD to deliver my children because she had helped with a birth that day and it was such an amazing experience. She became a paramedic, she was an AWESOME paramedic and I know that she really, really loved it. She had to give it up because of the MS. She's been through a lot of hard stuff with her family's health We all know how that goes. One of her sons is autistic, one was premature- it's been a rollercoaster ride. And yet, she stays on a pretty even keel. She's very brave and very strong. Now, I don't see or talk to her on a daily basis- but she hasn't lost her sense of humor through all the stuff she's been through and she seems to just keep on truckin', no matter what.

This week I got an email from her- and the poop has really hit the fan. So for all of you praying folks out there, this is what's going on (I hope this is ok- Susan- but I feel like we need to get the troops praying) The following is from her email:

"OK--I've always wanted to be a heart breaker... but this is nuts!! First my dad with cardiac bypass, then my mom with the valve scare, and now Darin! I seem to be the only common denominator.
Darin has a bad aortic valve that needs to be replaced...soon. Like in the next few weeks. So--once again--please send positive thoughts and energy our way! We've always known Darin has a bad heart valve that would eventually need to be replaced, but no one (including the doctors) EVER thought it would happen this soon, and at the ripe old age of 37. Yes this is scary. Mostly because in the best case scenario-he'll be dead in five years IF he doesn't have the surgery. With the surgery he should do OK-we're not worried about that. (much) What adds to my worry is that after the surgery, no doctor in the state of Iowa will certify him as "Fit for Duty" as a police officer, even if he's 100% recovered. So his law enforcement career may well be pretty much over. Enough? No way--think about this. If he can't get a lateral transfer to somewhere in the city we'll lose our insurance. (Think MS, autism, early heart problems...) We'll be financially ruined. And I have to say--in the grand scheme that's pretty unimportant if he gets well and we all are together... Please keep us in your thoughts--I need that right now!!!"

Being a grown-up really sucks sometimes.

SO- all you praying types out there- my dear friend needs the peace of God that passes all understanding, she needs strength, she needs faith and to know that God is right there with them. Her kids need peace. Her husband needs peace and healing. They need favor and a lateral transfer so they don't lose their insurance. They need faith. They need provision through all this- and I know my God is faithful! He will take care of them, even through the hard times and trials. Please bombard heaven on their behalf. I know I am. I really do love you, Susan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mickey and life update

Well, I just got off the phone with the vet. It's actually pretty good news. Mickey is still a very sick kitty and will be on medication for quite some time, but it's NOT cancer!! HUZZAH!!! I honestly, don't know if I could have handled it if it were. He has severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease- which isn't pretty at all- but it's the best of all the options we were given. So....he continues the meds he's on ($130 to hire the vet assistant to come give him meds while we're away-yikes!) and will add another for awhile that is technically a chemo drug-but it combats this disease as well and we'll have to change his diet to high protein game (venison, duck, etc.) but if all goes well- he won't be on meds the rest of his life (like he would have with the small cell lymphoma- and the other- well, we just won't go there will we?) And all of this will start when we get back- since he'd be on the meds he's on for a couple of weeks before starting everything else anyhoo-so it all works out. I want to cry. $2500 and 6 months later we FINALLY know what is going on. So prayer that it all "takes" would be great- but I still feel like a huge load is lifted. I haven't blogged much about Mickey- I've been too emotional- but you can check the process out on Marty's blog. This pain-in-the-tush, ornery, attention hogging mama's boy has been my baby for over 13 years- it's been a very stressful process.

I still feel pretty stressed. We've gotten a lot accomplished this week- tonight is first preview for Seven Keys to Baldpate- it looks good. I am pleased. It's A LOT of clothing. But it's a really fun show- perhaps my favorite this season. I've been trying to read scripts for next season (during tech? INSANITY) trying to get the shop tidy and ready for the next show to load in, get stuff ready for the trip (lists made, sitters hired, apt. manager notified, odds and ends purchased, the list goes on) and I've had early morning meetings everyday this week (tomorrow's is changed, I can come in at 10am!!!) lots of looonnnnnggg days. Which makes this tired, burned out soul want a vacation before her vacation. But I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, if I can only find time to pack....

Friday, May 11, 2007


...for first dress rehearsal to start in about an hour find out how dress rehearsal goes so I can plan the rest of my week get biopsy results for Mickey, to find out if it's cancer or something else that's causing his weight loss and then decide what to do make some potentially hard decisions
...for prayers to be answered for my friends who are facing serious health issues find time to prepare and pack for my trip find time to get the next show set up, 3 plays read and help decide a Christmas show, and attend 2-3 meetings all during a tech week, before we go on our trip see how fast or slow this week goes, and if I can actually get it/keep it together this week
...for God to prove Himself faithful, yet again
...for God to restore my soul (it desperately needs it, I feel as if I am in a perpetual state of "On the verge of losing it")
...for God to save my cat, my friend these past 15 years
...for God to heal my friends
...for God to help those friends that don't know Him to find Him through these hard times
...for God.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Going through the motions.....

That's what I feel like right now. I am just going through the motions. I am not sure what to do about this. How to break out, get excited, get motivated, whatever.

We're working on Seven Keys to Baldpate, which opens May 18th- the day before we leave on the cruise, actually. I like this show a lot. It's my favorite so far this year- it's a mystery farce with a lot of melodrama. Quite hilarious. I've set it in the 1950's- because I am sick of doing shows set in the 1920's-1940's- we do A LOT of those and I think the 50's period works great. I was laughing out loud imagining them in their costumes at the designer run the other night. So far, everything has been going quite well- thank you, Jesus! This makes me a bit nervous. And while I am far too persnickety and anal and picky to "phone it in," I still am not that excited about it. Perhaps I am just burned out. I am hoping that is all it is. There's so much to be done before we leave- Marty's got his artwalk show and we have church obligations and work obligations, I need to get the garden planted, etc. goes on kind of stuff. I feel like I just go from one set of chores to another. I'm tired of figuring out how and when everything is going to get done and making things happen. It all just seems like a never ending list of bills, chores, groceries, vet appointments and work. I feel like my joy has been stolen a bit. In addition to all the regular stuff, I need to be reading plays for next year's season- and I don't find any of them interesting to read- but they all need to be done. Just more stuff.

I think I really need a vacation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In my Father's house

I had another one last night/this morning. I dream this one a lot.

I move into a house or apartment and it really doesn't look like much. But as I start to settle in and unpack- the house grows. It's always much, much bigger with lots and lots of rooms. And usually, it's a lot nicer than I originally thought. The houses are usually furnished- and I change them around and clean them up. The houses are also in all sorts of places- I remember one being (in my dream) in a not so nice part of Philadelphia. Very strange. I think the most memorable room was a giant glass dome- it was HUGE- and it was all wild and overgrown, like a jungle. This morning as I woke from the latest of these dreams, I remembered the dome. I had that dream before I moved to Seattle, and I wonder if it represented the costume shop at Taproot, which was a complete mess when I got there. Marty says these dreams make him nervous, like I am going to move. But I think they represent when God is changing things in my life. I used to get "pregnant" dreams that seemed to represent the same thing- but not so much anymore. And on the rare occasion a pregnant dream occurs, I am not nearly as pregnant as I used to be. Dreams are so confusing. I also have recurring dreams of fighting evil- fighting the devil himself. Once I had to move a pair of twins that were in my class from house to house to house to hide them from him because he was after them. Another time, the devil was a hockey coach who was destroying his team with sex, drugs and rock and roll- that time, I pushed him over a cliff, a deep abyss. Seriously weird stuff.

I think my favorite fighting evil dream had a bunch of people that were being chased by demonic hordes. I was leading them as they ran. They were all wearing raggy, nasty clothing which changed as we ran through a river into pure white clothing. Then I turned and stopped to face the hordes when they came- and yelled for the people to keep running. The people ran across a rich, lush field that looked suspiciously like soybeans. Then they began to climb trees- HUGE trees, the biggest I have ever seen. So there were these huge trees absolutely covered with these people wearing white that looked like fruit hanging there. It was amazing- I have it written down somewhere- but the details are starting to get fuzzy. This particular dream has some significant spiritual overtones in it, obviously.

But I still haven't figured out the house dreams. I get them all the time. If anyone knows the interpretation- I'd be happy to hear it. Otherwise, I guess I'll just have to wait for a face to face with God since he hasn't given me the interpretation yet.
In my Father's house, there are many rooms....

Friday, April 13, 2007

Vanilla Scent

Is taking over the downstairs of Taproot Theatre. Seriously, it smells like a french vanilla brothel. Why? Well may you ask. I'm afraid it is partially my fault. After an exhausting week of being a substiture mommy, this was a stand-out event. To start with, my friend Jennifer sent her 8 year old to stay with us this week and attend the spring break drama camp. I have been a part of Rebekah's entire life, much to her embarrassment, I have the honor of changing her very first diaper in the world. She's a great kid and a smart kid. And I am once again reminded what a tough job parenthood is. Highlights of this week include:

Overheard while she was playing with the dollhouse; "Now, no one let grandpa drive you anywhere or read you anything, he's had too many beers."

More spelling tests and words than I ever remember, more homework than an eight year old should probably have, come to think of it. Ironically, Bekah likes homework, it "makes me think." Good for her.

We went to see "A Night at the Museum." A grand outing, although Bekah got a little nervous when the T-Rex first came to life.

A trip to Seattle's best toy store, Top Ten Toys- where Bekah proved she is quite....frugal...with her own money (but she's perfectly ok spending other people's money!)

Making superheroes on the computer with Marty. She made all the decisions of what hers should look like and Lady Lightning looks like the perfect superhero for the eight year old girl- complete with the horse companion and pink cape.

Picking out her superhero costume for camp at Thriftko. Hot pink tank top with sequins, shiny silver vinyl skirt, white tights with flowers, pink cape with flower and silver trim and a sequined silver headband- all for her character "Sidekick Marlowe," companion to "Captain Shakespeare." My friend Lorrie has been studying this year in England and told me that Christopher Marlowe was mighty fruity, so perhaps pink, silver and floral is the way to go. You are probably still wondering why the entire downstairs of Taproot Theatre smells like a french vanilla brothel...

We had a very productive morning. We got up, ate breakfast, packed lunch, packed a lot of Bekah's suitcase (although there is a missing pair of sunglasses and a trail of jelly bracelets still to be tracked down) she finished her book (Otherwise known as Sheila the Great) and we also got her dressed in her costume, brushed her teeth and curled her hair. The hair curling took quite sometime and slowed us down a bit as Bekah had to stop at every mirror and admire herself. Apparently, this is a habit of hers. I think it's not such a bad thing, to think yourself pretty- quite a gift, actually. And we got to Taproot in plenty of time. Then I looked at her and realized that she had a huge milk mustache. So I sent her to the bathroom to take care of it. She was in there for quite some time. I just thought she was admiring herself again. But no, she found the bottle of vanilla body spray and pretty much hosed herself down with it. Seriously- you can smell her coming. When Marty and I busted her ("Found the vanilla spray, did you Bekah?) She looked sheepish and answered in a small voice, "I just sprayed the room." Sure she did. When Marty went into the bathroom to clean it- there was a fog. We opened the door to air it out- and now the scent has permeated the theatre. Bekah will be sent home smelling like vanilla. According to her mom, there was a similar incident with a tiny bottle of perfume a couple of weeks ago that resulted in mom having to roll down car windows for a couple of days. I almost forgot how hilarious kid world is. And as tired as I am, I'll probably miss having Rebekah around. She's very diverting.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Holy Week

When I was a kid- I remember Holy Week being a pretty big deal. I grew up in at the First Congregational Church in Guilford, Connecticut. I remember all the Catholics wandering with their little smudges on Ash Wednesday and listening to them talk about all the things they gave up for Lent. As for our church- we had Wednesday night Lenten Potluck suppers- I remember they were pretty fun. I loved all those potluck dinners, and we had them for Advent as well. I have very found memories of growing up in that church. I do remember one particular potluck, when we were told not to bring food- and then we were split up like the world's population for dinner. One family had a ritzy fancy dinner, 2-3 families had a picnic type meal and the rest of us were in "the third world" eating rice and apples. It was actually pretty fun in the third world- and it was a lesson I never forgot. But I digress- back to Holy Week...

Which started with an interdenominational Palm Sunday service on the Green. In New England communities- the town is placed around a big park called the Green. Every Palm Sunday, all the Congregationals, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and whoever else wanted to come, would gather their palm branches and join together for a service to kick off Holy Week. When I was little, this is just how it was. All the Christians gathering together, worshipping Jesus, getting along just fine. As an adult, I'm pretty impressed with this whole gathering- because it's not something we see often enough. We just don't see the CHURCH gathering together to worship Jesus. Sigh.

On Maundy Thursday- I remember Dad would go to a special service, I never went- I don't really know why. Perhaps my parents thought I'd be bored. But I was a pretty inquisitive kid in regard to the whole "God thing" I probably would have enjoyed it. As long as I can remember, I wanted to know God. I remember sitting in my tiny little rocking chair, with my first grown-up Bible in my lap- reading it and wishing it made more sense to me. Wishing that God would talk to me. Sometimes, I still feel that way. Many times. Most of the time.

On Good Friday- we had special Sunday School. We were off school for Spring Break and so our church had a special Good Friday Sunday School session. It was pretty cool. I remember looking forward to it immensely.

On Dark Saturday- well, truth be told, this was pagan day all the way. I always woke up obscenely early because I was just dying to dye the Easter eggs (get it?) I miss doing that so much. I guess the artist in me just really enjoys that tradition. If my husband enjoyed hard boiled eggs, I'd still do it- but I can't eat them all myself. So no more eggs. Back then, Dad and I (who enjoyed weekly "art time" together) would get out the old olive green flower print vinyl tablecloth with the white fringe, the crayons and the PAAS kit and go to town.

On Easter Sunday we'd start with pagan traditions first. I'd be up obscenely early to hunt down all our artful eggs from the day before and get quite a bit of sugar in me to boot. We would enjoy cardamom braided bread that my dad would make and some hard boiled eggs for breakfast. Then I'd put on my Easter dress- usually a new one made by my mom, and off to church we would go. I always loved the Easter services- the hymns were my favorite. And for some reason, people always sang more loudly that day. Like they meant what they were singing. I don't know if it was because the hymns were familiar or if it was because there was a spirit of victory and joy in the air, whatever the reason- it was pretty powerful stuff. When I was old enough, I joined the junior choir and got to sing the special music as well. After church- we'd head off to visit family and I always enjoyed that too. Come to think of it- that church was a significant part of a happy childhood.

After we moved to Illinois (when I was in high school) Holy week changed in a big way. Our new church didn't really celebrate in the same way- just special-ish Palm Sunday and Easter Services. Usually, we had to make a 3 hour trek to some aunt's house and didn't even get to go to church on Easter- which made my dad pretty unhappy. This trend continued through college.

When I moved to North Carolina, the church I went to there really didn't make a big deal out of Palm Sunday. There was no Lent or "Holy Week"- but there was a special Easter Service with a big drama production. I was in charge of the drama team then, so Lent to me just meant more stress. I never liked most of our Easter productions- they were only ok. One was really good- and it actually offended some people so I felt like I had done my job. : ) But I really missed the lead up to Holy Week that I had as a child. It made that week set apart and special- and I still miss it a lot.

Here in Washington- well, our new church observes Holy Week- different traditions- but I'm glad they observe it. We went to the "Ticker Tape" service on Palm Sunday- which was quite an experience. The last part of the service was a worship service- and it's intention was to create the feel and atmosphere of Jesus's entrance into Jerusalem- one of ridiculous celebration. It was interesting on so many levels. As more paper than I could have imagined was shot out of confetti cannons (and apparently they misfired and only sent out half the confetti- dear me) people worshipped and tossed it in the air, children drown each other in it-and it was easy to get swept away in the moment. The phrase "extravagant worship" kept ringing in my head. I thought of the woman pouring perfume on the feet of Jesus. Why can't we always worship that extravagantly? (I think Heaven must be like that- of course, I think Heaven is going to be fabulous, sort of like the Cirque de Soleil, people making all kinds of art, figure skating, sychronized swimming and every kind of music in every kind of language imaginable. It'll be CRAZY FUN! and we'll be with God- Party on!) But, I digress... Meanwhile, back at the Palm Sunday service-when I was truly in worship- this celebration was an amazing thing, and when I got pulled out of the moment-I was still celebrating. I loved looking up to see thousands upon thousands of pieces of paper floating down toward me as I sang. I imagine that it was same kind of experience for the people there that day Jesus rode into town. Swept up in the moment, not knowing why they were celebrating, and certainly not knowing that within the week, Jesus would be murdered. Thankfully, we have hindsight- we know why and how it all went down- it makes it easy to celebrate. I must also mention, there was a couple of handfuls of confetti trapped in my clothes afterward- pretty funny.

Yesterday, Good Friday, we went to the Stations of the Cross at our church. I had never experienced that particular tradition. It was interesting. Our friend Jeff had mentioned commissioning artists to do the stations next year- and I think that's brilliant. I found it very powerful to see all the scripture pulled together to tell the story and I thought the questions at each prayer station were pointed and powerful- made me think. However, I would have liked it to have been more experiential. This tradition has the potential to be so incredibly powerful. Marty and I were talking and we thought it would be great if all the senses were involved, soft music playing, incense, communion set up so people could take it if they wanted to, places to sit and meditate at each station- and I think it would be so neat to see an artist's take on each particular station. Big stuff.

Today is Dark Saturday. And I sit and ponder the wonder of Easter. It's hard for me to be sad, because I know how the story ends. I try to remember what Jesus went through for me- the pain, the suffering, the sacrifice. I am unbelievably grateful. But yet, I cannot grieve or be melancholy- because God is so big and good and Jesus triumphed over evil and death...for me. Because He loves me. Even when I can't feel it or think He's forgotten me or I am going through a poopy time. He loves me. He died for me. He would have done it if it were just me. I can't do anything to make that up to Him except give Him what and who I am. Because that's what He did for me. It's amazing to me that it's enough. He is happy to give His sinless life for my sinful, full of mistakes and pain one. Wow. No kidding. Wow.

Tomorrow is Easter- I'm interested to see what service will be like. We don't have kids- so there will be no egg hunt, but my friend's 8 year old daughter is coming to spend the week with us so there is an easter basket with her name on it. Sadly, we'll have to duck out of service early to go fetch her at the airport. During service, we'll get to see the video that Marty, Jeff and Kent and the other guys have been working on- starring Marty. We watched it yesterday, it was quite good. It's odd to see your home on film. Our candlesticks are really crooked. After we pick up Bekah, we'll head to Jeff's for Easter dinner. It's nice to have people to celebrate with. I just pray in all the busy-ness of tomorrow- that the true meaning of Easter knocks us right between the eyes and in the heart. I think Marty and I could both use a dose of that love, revelation and victory that Jesus died for. Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bumper Sticker

As I was coming into work this morning, I saw this bumper sticker:

I like your Christ
But I don't like your christians
They are very unlike your Christ

It made me sad. Because it's true. And granted there are issues of sin, grace and forgiveness involved because sadly, we will never be sinless in this lifetime. But I thought, what if being like Christ became a serious priority for every person that proclaims Jesus as Lord and Savior? What if everyone laid down their selfishness and agendas and just tried to be like Jesus? How revolutionary would that be? He was one person. And He changed the world. Imagine if His followers made it a priority to be like Him as much as we could. How much would we change the world?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pros and Cons...

Things I love about living in Seattle....

-Being surrounded by gorgeous nature and yet having all the advantages of urban living
-the flowers
-the beach and the mountains- together!
-NW Arts Group
-hearing sea lions barking at the beach (and seeing them occasionally as well!)
-comp tickets to theatre
-PF Chang's
-Sunday School
-our big, lovely apartment with a studio
-my greenhouse soon-to-be container garden
-watching the Pre-K kids play at the elementary school across the street
-the Sci-Fi museum
-my job (most of the time!)
-walking with my husband through our lovely neighborhood
-living close to and taking advantage of the zoo
-that Big Daddy Gorilla at the zoo is 2 years older than I am
-Sloth bears- they are funny!
-emcee-ing the Greenwood Seafair Parade (it's geeky, but it's fun)
-Trader Joe's-yummy organic foods for less!
-cool bookstores and art supply stores
-the views from the Space Needle (especially Mt. Rainier)
-hanging out with my cousin Margaret
-boat rides on Puget Sound
-going grocery shopping without having to put on make-up (heck, I even go to work that way sometimes!)
-The Library Cafe
-IKEA is a half hour away! MEATBALLS!
-sunny and cool summers
-it's very...diverse
-people who are in church want to be there, seeking Jesus, it's not about the culture and it's not just what you do...
-RECYCLING!!! People do care and want to steward the earth
-I got married here!

Things I don't like about living in Seattle...

-ridiculously high cost of living
-it's very hard to get to know people as most are too busy to become friends
-fleece at the opera
-people bring their dogs EVERYWHERE (including ridiculously expensive fancy restaurants...where people wear fleece)
-traffic, traffic, traffic
-bad bumpy roads
-rainy, dreary winters
-being so far away from our families and friends
-anti-christian mentality
-tree-hugging hypocrites who drive their gas guzzling SUV's all by themselves
-Trader Joe's parking lots

Things I miss about the south...

-my friends
-post Sunday service lunches out
-good restaurants- Apollo Flame, La Carreta, Tupelo Honey, Apollo Flame II, Asiana
-fried chicken and barbeque
-the accent
-visiting other small towns- Hendersonville, Boone, Blowing Rock, Black Mountain
-The Cove
-people being super friendly and hospitable
-reasonable cost of living
-my AC Moore discount
-the Blue Ridge Parkway

Things I don't miss about the south...

-the heat
-the humidity
-redneck mentality (although, it is EVERYWHERE)
-NASCAR insanity
-Bele Chere
-hypocrisy and out of control church culture
-having to put on make-up to go grocery shopping, having to "look nice" all the time because it was expected

I can't decide whether I miss the term "Bless his/her heart" or not....sometimes it's really sincere as in, "She has what kind of cancer? Bless her heart!" or sometimes it's just a matter of trying to make whatever you say ok as in "I can't believe no one has told her that her man is cheating on her! Can you believe it? Bless her heart!"- so...the jury is still out on that one.

Judging by the lists, it seems that I like living in Seattle a lot. I'd say that's true- but it's just normal life to have pros and cons to everything. But it is still a lot to thank God for- and I do!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm not middle aged, but I can see it from here.

Wow. Holy Schmackers. I turned 37 on Saturday and all I can think is... how the heck did THAT happen? I certainly don't feel that old. Not at all. Although I read a quote the other day somewhere that said something about when in your 30's you wish you had the body you hated in your 20's- and I think that's very true.

I had to work on my birthday. So after opening presents and cards in the morning, I spent the day in dress rehearsal. Then my husband took me out for greek food (yummy, although the service was lame) and then as a BIG treat- there were Krispy Kreme doughnuts with SPRINKLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HUZZAH!!! Seriously, I have a weird thing for sprinkles. I LOVE THEM...on ice cream, cookies, doughnuts- love 'em. I don't like the colored sugar crystal variety- just all the other crazy, dye-filled globules of sugar. SPRINKLES! YAY! Weird, huh? Sprinkles. Sprinkles. Sprinkles. I just like the word. Sprinkles.

My husband got me gardening tools for my birthday (Good going, baby!) And I am happy as a clam. I bought a small greenhouse and things are growing like mad. The green beans are bionic- the basil sprouted in 2 days! It's awesome. I love watching things grow and I can't wait to move everything outside. If you are a gardener of any sort- you need to get you some WORM POOP! Seriously- it's like a magic potion for plants. It's called TerraCycle and you can get it at Home Depot. It comes in recycled pop bottles- it's organic and it's FABULOUS!!!

Funny what makes a 37 year old happy. Sprinkles and worm poo. Go figure.

Monday, March 12, 2007

True Confessions

I am blogging. I've been fussed at for being remiss in this practice (thank you, Cassie- I fuss at you- you fuss at me- what are friends for?) so here's one that is sadly, less than warm and fuzzy.

It's been a busy couple of months for me, particularly at work. I confess this makes me a bit nervous as this is the "slow" time of year. But for now, all 5 current touring shows are up and running, one mainstage has run it's course and while we will head into tech for the next mainstage this week- There is still much to do (it's amazing how complicated 2 costumes can get) but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and things will have a more normal pace, at least through this month.

It's also been a hard couple of months for me- I am battling depression more than I ever have in my life- and I really haven't been talking about it. It started about the first of the year and hasn't really let up. The people in my life that I care about seem burdened by their own struggles and busy-ness- so I don't want to add more. I don't know if that's right- but I have always been that way- so I muddle through on my own and trust because God has always been faithful to pull me through depression. I feel weary and overwhelmed a lot of the time now. So, I just don't think about it and keep on keepin' on. I think part of the issue is my being determined to be obedient about somethings I felt like God told me to do a long time ago- and I have finally stepped up to the plate. I've started praying in earnest again- don't know if I am making much headway- but it's nice to hang out in the presence of God again. I "adopted" a couple of orphans in Africa- $25 a month seems so little to ask to keep a child alive. And I am really trying to be healthy. We are plugging into church more and pursuing this with intention- hanging out with fellow artists and making new friends. This may not seem like much- but I know it is because the pressure cooker has clicked ON. I don't think the devil likes what is going on- and so things are hard right now. I can feel the warfare swirling about me. And I know it's warfare, I know the devil will lose (even when it feels like he's winning) and that gives me the hope and faith to keep on keepin' on. I've been through this before, and I'm sure it'll happen again. And on the other side of this time when depression, loss of joy and being overwhelmed by even the simple tasks of life has passed- God will show me how I've grown and what miracles He has worked during this time- and for that, I am thankful. But, boy oh boy, I will sure be glad to be on the other side.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pursuing God, and why we do it

Here's something interesting- check it out-

I enjoy Dick Staub- he's got some interesting things to say- and one of these days, Marty and I are going to make it over to Kindlings Muse to see/hear the program. As we talk about calling in our Sunday School class- it seems to keep coming back to relationship with God. As in, our own. I keep thinking that if you get that intimacy in place, the rest will come. Like getting the first button on your shirt right, as my old pastor used to say. Calling will be clear- our first calling is definitely to God himself. Like most relationships, it requires some time- which is counter cultural to what we Americans know as we go eighty billion miles an hour. But it is well worth the effort. I've been enjoying getting back to a worship/prayer time. I'm not a hundred percent consistent yet and I don't show up with a list- I just show up. I haven't "heard" anything earth shattering and profound yet- but I have felt God's presence and love surrounding me and that's enough. Like Dick Staub talks about- I feel like He must change me from the inside so that I can be effective in the world- and why not let Him?

I'd forgotten how much fun it is just to hang out with Him.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

One Night with the King

I just watched the movie, One Night with the King- about Queen Esther. It was a visually lovely movie- very lavish- good costumes, etc. etc.... There were some historical issues, changing the king's name, how the whole fasting and approaching the king went down, etc. etc. The movie had some continuity issues, particularly surrounding a necklace which was a major plot point in the movie (which also had some questionable issues historically- such as, was the star of David such a symbol for Judaism at this point in history?) but all in all was kind of interesting to watch. It raised some questions in my mind, particularly because, like many women- I really like the book of Esther and have had oh, a kabillion kinds of teachings on it.

Most teachings I've had have been about Esther's faith and obedience. Obedience to Mordecai (whose role was a bit downplayed compared to scripture) Obedience to the king, etc. etc. Heck, I've even had teaching on all the beauty treatments she received! And while I have nothing against obedience (personal experience says it's best to obey than rebel) I wonder...

For instance, Queen Vashti. She always gets the short end of the stick. She didn't want to be paraded in front of her drunken husband and his drunken friends. That Jezebel. Well, this is often how she is portrayed in teachings, at least the ones I have received. She didn't submit to her husband and look what happened to her! Let that be a lesson to you! But I think- even the most submissive wives of leaders that I know probably wouldn't be keen to be paraded about in front of a bunch of drunks. Also, here's a thought- if Vashti HAD obeyed her husband, what then, would have been the fate of the Jews? Ah. Hmmmm.... If Vashti would have obeyed her husband, and all would have continued on as is, would Haman have had his way- and would all the Jews have been annihilated?

Perhaps, since the great I AM is the great I AM....He could foresee all this- and for all we know, gave Vashti a valid reason to disobey her husband, knowing what would happen so that Esther could be in a place "for such a time as this." It's times like these when I wish the amplified Bible were even more amplified, you know what I mean? God sees the big picture and I am constantly amazed how He coordinates circumstances, situations and people to get His will accomplished in the earth.

Another thing about this movie that got me thinking... How God does indeed bless obedience. How scary for Hadassah to become queen- rules, protocol, dresses that weigh a million pounds, having to be wise- and be a wife- to someone she barely knows? Loves? While the Bible does talk about how Esther found favor in the king's eyes- what the movie presented was the fact they had a mutual loving relationship. And while all that may not appear in the scriptures, per se- to me, it keeps with the nature and character of the God that I love and serve. Why should the king listen to her if she was only a trophy wife- good for nothing but her beauty? I don't think so. I also don't think that God would have given Esther and unhappy marriage. She was obedient and I think they must have had a good marital relationship. They loved and trusted one another- isn't that interesting. And often glossed over in teachings that concentrate on Esther's seemingly blind submission and faith. I don't think God desires us to have blind submission and faith- our pursuing Him, our RELATIONSHIP with Him- causes us to have faith and to be able to submit and obey- even to the point of facing death. The whole sceptre of favor thing in the movie was a very intense moment, one that I think also can get glossed over. It's one of the better scenes- Esther approaching the kind amidst the yelling and squawking of the advisors about broken protocol in a culture where protocol was everything. What she did was a really, really big deal. And whether it was for a valid reason or because she was a Jezebel- I am thankful that Vashti didn't obey her husband and that the jewish people have a reason to celebrate Purim.

The Beaches, the Burches and the (N)elmes....

Once upon a time, in the far away land of Guilford, Connecticut, there lived three families.
The Beaches- Ken, Ann and their daughters Kathleen and Jena.
The Burches- Donald, Diane and their daughter, Sarah.
The Nelmes- Jim and Jan, who had no children. She was a high school science teacher, there's a great photo of her with a dissected cat. Ew. And she had a fabulous shell collection.

These families all attended the First Congregational Church in Guilford, which is how they met. In addition to many joyous church activities including singing in the choir, pageants, picnics, teaching Sunday school, advent potluck suppers, talent shows- these families were very much a part of each other's lives.

Ken Beach would cook fantastic chinese dinners, making sure ALL of the above mentioned folks were there as there was a course for each person present.

The Nelmes had volleyball and barbeques at their house almost every Saturday during the summer, and they always let everyone play, no matter how bad they were. After all, how could you get better if you didn't play?

The girls would put on concerts and plays. Kathleen played the flute, Sarah played the oboe and Jena played the cello. Mostly, these were performed at the Burch's house, as there was a little "stage" spot at the foot of the stairs. Favorite "plays" that were put on (mostly by Sarah and Jena, Kathleen was a little too "mature" for these) were Cinderella and many a "Barbara Walters Special." "Barbara" interviewed many famous folks including Michael Jackson, Boy George and Mother Nature. Hilarity ensued.

The girls also went to Girl Scout camp together, but that's another story.

Anniversaries of the three couples were celebrated every year with a big dinner, a silly sign saying such things as "Joyful Nuptual Commemoration" and the ritual passing of the tacky anniversary wine glasses- still in the box, of course. Other celebrations included Edgar Allen Poe's birthday and family birthday's as well. Ann and Sarah shared a birthday on March 17th.

Sarah called Jim Nelmes "Shorty." He was about 6'2" and he sold caskets for a living. The Nelmes called her "Munchkin" and sent her silver candlesticks when she got married. As they had no children of their own, Sarah often felt "adopted" by them.

When Sarah was 12, she was in the hospital for a long time. She had a weird sinus condition that caused scar tissue to build up in her sinuses. She was very ill, although, she had a good time in the hospital making friends and tissue flowers so she didn't understand how sick she was. Shorty and/or Mrs. Nelmes visited her almost every day. They brought ice cream and toys. They gave her a doll, whom she named Emily, who is still with her, 25 years later.

When the Burches moved to Illinois, Sarah still needed to finish school. She lived with the Beaches and on Monday nights, she would go have supper with Shorty and Mrs. Nelmes. After supper, she and Shorty would watch Fraggle Rock. One time, they watched "Something Wicked this Way comes." The spider scene still gives her the willies.

After the Burches moved, the Beaches also moved. Only the Nelmes still lived in Guilford. There were holiday cards and occasional visits. Beloved pets died- dogs named Ruff and Happy and cats named George, Tuffy, Abby and JB. Children grew up and got married and life went on. There were still solid ties of friendship and many, many happy memories. These families loved each other very much.

Today, Diane called Sarah to inform her that she had received a phone call from Jan. Shorty had a heart attack and died. He was 58 years old.

Sarah cried.

She was also thankful for the love and the happy memories and privilege of being a part of this man's life. She hopes to remember to never take life for granted, because even though it seems it will always go on, it doesn't. She also hopes to remember to never let people forget how much she loves them.

Monday, January 15, 2007


We've had some crazy weather here in Seattle lately. It's been like "real" winter! Normally, everything is very temperate here- but not lately! It's a little nutty. But I like it.

The other night, I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to wake Marty so I grabbed my favorite blanket and curled up on a chair in the living room by the window to watch it snow. It was about 1am- nice and quiet except for the occasional car sliding through the intersection. I just don't understand why people think if they drive an SUV they can drive like they normally do in winter weather. These nincompoops make the roads so dangerous as they slipslide about. But, I digress.

So, the snow was coming down in big fluffy flakes. Softly falling. It was soooooo pretty. And as I sat watching thousands of snowflakes falling, I got to thinking about how no two snowflakes are alike. It blew my mind. Each one of those thousands of snowflakes I watched during that half hour or so was COMPLETELY UNIQUE. Wow. SNOWFLAKES!!!!! Little bits of frozen precipitation that have very small lifespans and yet are completely, uniquely, beautifully designed! Little bits of precipitations that individually don't make a dent in the grand scheme of eternity! But they are each a masterpiece! And people don't think God exists!

Then I got to thinking how unique people are and how BIG God must be to have designed all of us (and STILL has time to design a kabillion unique bits of frilly, lacey, frozen precipitation) How can people think we crawled out of the muck? One of my favorite things my old pastor used to say was if you put a bunch of watch bits in a bag and shook it for a thousand years- it wouldn't be a watch. It would still be bits. We need the Creator.

Look at all the beautiful people in the world. All different shapes and sizes and colors. All of us with different personalities, giftings, interests and DNA. No two are exactly alike- and we're all so terribly complex. For instance, I can't do algebra or speak french- but I can tell what size someone wears pretty much by just looking at them. (Pretty handy in my line of work) And we all speak different languages- as if the same "UGG" could become latin, french, spanish, aramaic, navajo... I mean, COME ON! AND to boggle the mind even further, God not only created everyone- but He knows the number of hairs on our HEADS. Granted, that's more to remember for some than others. : ) But still, we have a God who cares enough to create masterpieces of tiny precipitation. He loves beauty. And yet, we live in a society where we don't value the creation of life, of each other, of every human being- all who have value and are completely unique. We are not in awe of the Creator capable of creating the magnificent diversity of everything and everyone. What is wrong with us? Are we so self-centered we cannot look around with the wonder of children? I don't know many people who don't enjoy watching a quiet and beautiful snowfall. But I know many people who cannot find the same joy in watching each person, who is more unique, beautiful, precious and valuable than a snowflake. I find it all quite amazing.