Monday, December 28, 2009

Bidding 2009 Farewell...

And I can't say that I am sorry to do so. It's been a hard year. Not a bad year, just a hard one.

We lost our Mickey back in the spring and I still miss he and Max something fierce. Christmas was hard without a kitty. I had a hard time when I found their little stockings in the Christmas decorations.

Friends lost parents- a horrible thing...mortality. And now I feel bad when mine drive me crazy- because I love them and am thankful they are still around, but sometimes- mom makes me a little nuts.

There's been lots of transition at church and I'm still not a fan of church- and that makes me feel... I don't know.

Then there was the fire. The fire. The stupid fire that seems to still be all consuming 2 months later. There was an arson in the building next to the theatre. The theatre was actually on fire- very briefly- but thankfully- it was caught before it did too much damage. I think we didn't realize initially how much damage there was. But there was a ton of smoke and water damage. And we had to wall. The day of the fire we packed up the entire production of Enchanted April, washed what we could, aired out the rest the best we could, moved it to The Seattle Children's Theatre, teched it and put on 2 shows- all within 36 hours of the fire happening. Now that I look back...that was CRAZY. But we did it- and it was amazing. The SCT folks were beyond fantastic.
Then there was the inventory- when 3 of us had to pretty much go through every item of anything in the theatre. That was a hellish few days. We threw away unbelievable amounts of stuff. And then they took everything to the drycleaners. EVERYTHING- well, that we didn't throw away. The inventory guy estimates the bill will be around $35,000. Thank you, Jesus, for great insurance.
Then we had to figure out- where were we going to work? Where would the costume shop go while the theatre was being remodeled? So stressful. I think we've all been so stressed for so long, we don't even recognize it anymore. Although, I have bad headaches now that I am sure are tied to tension in my neck.
Then we changed the Christmas show- and the And basically re-marketed and pulled together a production in about 2 weeks. It's a wonder we've all survived. Meanwhile, through all the moving and shopping and designing and planning and sewing, there were weekly deliveries of costume stock coming back to be sorted, purged and organized. All bottoms were separated from tops. Thank heaven the socks and gloves were still paired up!
40 boxes, several garbage bags of stuff were given to other theatres and the homeless. More will probably go when we move back into the theatre.
Dealing with the fire is like having a full time job, which is great- except that we all already have full time jobs. I suspect when we finally get everything settled, it'll be time to move back to the theatre- so this is a several month process....replacing anything plastic, cardboard...craziness. I still don't know where a bunch of stuff is.
Through it all- well, it's been amazing. People have been so supportive. God has been faithful. It's just hard to lift your head from the daily insanity to take a moment to notice it all.
And that's been our lives since that fateful day on October 23rd. They caught the arsonist and we suspect he'll go to jail for a very long time as he is a repeat offender. And eventually, life will calm down.

Good things happened this year too. I got to spend my mom's 70th birthday with her, we got to see lots of friends this year, and visit Marty's family too. People are so important. I really had a nice Christmas season- we got to spend time with many friends and it was But I have to say...I'm not too sad to say goodbye to 2009.

2010 looks...I have no idea. HA. I'm sure work will still be quite stressful for the first half of the year, and the second half. But I think the second half will be normal stress, which probably won't feel like stress.... I don't really make resolutions or goals at the new year- I make them as they turn we'll see what happens as life goes on. I turn 40 this year. How the heck did that happen? My beloved and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary and I am still pretty crazy about him. Past that- who knows what the future will hold? But I'm ready to head that way.

Happy New Year y'all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And so....

It's October. Mid-October. This is the first chance I've had to blog, if that tells you anything. Enchanted April is up, running and approaching closing week. To say it was a rough build is a mild understatement, so we'll leave it at that. I am currently up to my eyeballs with the Christmas show already- a lovely little period job- something like 35-40 victorian costumes and uniforms! Bleah. I hate uniform shows- we have to find what works best and actually FITS today's people (who are generally larger than those in WWI) and there's always some expert in the audience to pick it apart. Sigh. Oh well. It's the glamourous life of the costumer. Never ending thrills and chills.
My life has pretty much been consumed by work. That's not an understatement, and I'm not a fan of that situation. It's just sort of the way it is right now. We did go on vacation to visit Marty's family in Florida- which was WAY fun...but not particularly restful. So I am pretty darn tired- an allover weariness, if you will. It' s just a hard time right now. The theatre is feeling the crunch of the recession- so that's some added stress on everyone. It's hard to do more with less- but we all manage to manage. Two of my friends have had parents die in the past few weeks. So my heart hurts for them- and it just makes me think about our own parents and their mortality and issues that they deal with. I have young friends still dealing with cancer... And the rain has started. October in Seattle. Life just feels....heavy.
Our church issues- still very much up in the air. I think Marty put it best when he said,"I don't need services, I need relationships." I still think that I am going through a redefining of what church is- but I'm struggling. Part of it is circumstances, part of it is being tired. I probably sound more "down" than I feel. But I often wonder, what the heck are we even doing out here in Seattle? Why? We're not near family. It's a battle to get friendships started and keep them going. Do I really love my job this much? What is the point of being at church? People are always glad to see us, but whatever we contribute seems to just turn to dust in the wind.... I just don't know. It's all a bit of a muddle. But we just keep trekking on because really, what else can you do? I'm sure God will reveal all in His timing, I just sure wish He'd throw me a bone or something.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is anybody listening?

So here's the thing that's been on my mind, in my heart...percolating in my spirit. Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. This I know, that when I just get in the presence of God- just to hang out- that's when things start to move with power. And that is what I want to see....moving in power. I know in my own life, I don't make enough time for that sort of prayer. The kind where you just have to press in and wait. Sometimes, waiting takes a long time. Sometimes, nothing comes except for just hanging out with God. And that's okay. But I am digressing from the point I want to make. And it's this. We spend a lot of time in prayer just talking. Talk, talk, talk. Request, request, request. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Jabber, jabber, jabber. What if we stopped? What if we stopped talking? What if, knowing that He is God, we were still and just listened? I know that's a personal...goal...whatever....for me. I know that I had a really good "soak" yesterday and that I need to make it more of a priority. And during that soak, I was praying for the "church"- my church, the whole church...praying about corporate prayer.

What would happen to a group of leaders who sought the presence of God without an agenda? What if prayer wasn't a grocery list of prayer requests?
Perhaps, instead of asking God to bless what we do, we could listen and find out what He is doing and help Him with it, perhaps that would produce a whole lot of fruit. Perhaps we would find wholeness, healing and freedom. Perhaps...if we would be still, make time and listen.

I've been reading Revelation- and I know, it's a goofy book. But it's really one of my favorites. I find it hopeful and alarming- particularly the bits about being lukewarm or thinking you are alive when you are actually dead....yikes. When Jesus is talking to the churches, warning them, He says the following every time:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

He says it seven times, to seven churches. And I wonder, with all of our anyone actually listening?

Friday, August 21, 2009


As usual, August is a bit of a crazy-land.

I went to Iowa at the beginning of the month to surprise my mom for her 70th birthday. She was very surprised and we had a nice visit. When I got back, work was crazy, of course.

We have the usual convergence of insanity that we do every August here at Camp Taproot. The mainstage show usually extends, which means extra weeks of laundry and maintenance. The studio is going full swing so there are dozens of children running amuck around the theatre. We're working on three Road Company touring shows (plus remounting one of the old ones to go to the New York Fringe Festival- they are there now) and building 20+ dresses for Enchanted April. As if that weren't insanity enough... My cutter/draper- the woman who has run the builds for shows for the past year, pulled the day before the build started. She got a better paying job at one of the bigger theatres. We're a small non-profit, I can't compete. So I put my best stitcher in that cutter positon (so I lost my best stitcher as well) and hoped for the best. We have a couple of our usual gals that are stable and I hired a couple of new gals, one is great- the other I had to let go. She didn't take it particularly well, but I just do not have the luxury of time to teach people how to sew on this show. Yesterday, I hired a new gal that I think will be eventually, I am sure I'll lose her as well, but for the time being, I am thankful. Work feels like swimming through mashed potatoes lately. Everything meets with resistance. I go to order some items online, the store that was there last week has dropped off the planet. I go to exchange some leggings at the mall- the store that I bought them at two weeks ago...dropped off the planet. Ah. The economy. Just all sorts of little things going wrong- I'm not even surprised anymore. Although, I confess that I was surprised when one of the actors in the current show bleached his hair without permission while I was in Iowa. Dark hair...turns orange. He did it because the white he was putting in his hair "didn't show up enough." It did. Now he looks a bit like an orange skunk. Sigh. But life goes on. It's been an unusually hot summer too. That hasn't helped. The airconditioning units at the theatre have been working overtime and freezing over periodically (which requires one of my coworkers to get on the roof and thaw them out with a hairdryer- how's that for fun?) and the server room, which is attached to the costume shop has been way overheating. So we have to leave the door open so the servers don't fry and then it's at least 80 in the shop. But it's been better this week- the IT guy took one of the servers out of the room that we suspect was the main culprit. It's been a crazy summer. It's August. It seems that no matter how organized I am, no matter how much I frontload things into July, no matter what I do...August is always just CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY. Thankfully, there's only 10 days left. Sweet fancy bananas and Hallelujah for that.

And our neighborhood has also been a little crazy. Last week (was it only last week?) there was a huge watermain break that flooded the block in front of the theatre about 45 minutes before a performance. Thankfully, it did not flood the theatre at all. (Amazing) A few days later, a house a block and a half away burned down. Apparently, there's an arsonist in the neighborhood. Ah, yes.

On the spiritual front. Hmmmm. Boy. Wow. I got A LOT going through my mind right now. I am still struggling, trying to clear the "planks" out of my eyes so that I can see clearly. I miss church. But I don't want to go. I think I miss the idea of church more. As far as the reality, I am disappointed and deeply troubled about what I see- what I see in "reality," what I see in my dreams, what I see in my spirit. Still mulling it all over. Still praying. I found a great passage of scripture in Daniel where he calls upon the Lord- Not because of our merit, but because of who You are Lord- have mercy- or something along those lines- something about a desolate sanctuary- it's a beautiful prayer. It reminds me that we cannot appeal to God on our own merit- we've done nothing that worthy- it's just ALL Him- grace, mercy and forgiveness. And I know from my own experience that sometimes He gives us exactly what we think we desire- so we'll learn. The hard way. Huh. But I know that I am still not interested in "playing church" or "doing church"- anytime that church usurps relationship with Christ- I get very nervous. And I am very nervous right now. But I also know that God works all things together for good. Proverbs talks about if you have no poop in your stable, you have no productivity- so there you go. I believe God is bigger and He will win. And for now, that's all I've got to say about that.

Back to the insanity. 10 days to go.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Going on a journey....

I had a bit of a breakthrough today. It wasn't anything earth shattering, I didn't fall on the floor weeping- but there was a definite shift in my heart and in my spirit. And peace. And anticipation. I am going on a journey. It totally snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting it. I have NO idea what the future holds. I have no idea how this journey will unfold. It will be dangerous. There will be risks and costs. The shift came after I read the following passage in Michael Yaconelli's book, Dangerous Wonder- a read I highly recommend.

"Ironically, our "Christian" nation has become oblivious to a terror that can liberate us. We have become comfortable with the radical truth of the gospel; we have become familiar with Jesus; we have become satisfied with the church. The quick and sharp Bible has become slow and dull; the world-changing church has become changed by the world; and the life-threatening Jesus has become an interesting enhancement to modern life."

Wow. This is very true in my life. And I hate it. So....enough. I'm done. I surrender. SURRENDER. Everything. I don't know how to explain what has shifted in my heart. I think the above passage starts to hit the tip of the iceberg of everything that has been happening in my heart and mind- all the frustration, all the angst. I really want to know the crazy, wonderful, terrifying and all powerful love of Jesus and of God and I want the Holy Spirit to feel free to run amuck in my life. I want God to TAKE OVER. Sound easy? Highly spiritual? A bit trite? Ah, here's the hard part...

I don't think it can happen at church.

I think I need to unlearn everything I think I know about God...well, maybe not everything- but close. Marty and I talked about taking a break from church last night. I had very mixed feelings about it- because it is ingrained in my consciousness that if you believe in Jesus YOUMUSTGOTOCHURCH. ITISWHATCHRISTIANSDO. DONOTFORSAKEGATHERINGTOGETHER. Everyone at church has told me that all my life.... I do believe we are supposed to gather with other believers...but.....
With this "shift" in my heart came a very freeing peace about the decision to take a break. I don't know how people in our church will feel about it. I don't know how our friends will handle it. Will we lose them? Sadly, it's possible. We have a hard enough time getting together with people we do go to church with- what will happen when we are "out of sight, out of mind?"
I'll probably have to have a chat with my employer to make sure they understand that this is not us becoming...whatever...backslidden? I don't know. I fully expect to go back to church at some point in the not too distant future. But whatever this shift is, I feel like it's from God. There is a yearning to pursue Him in a way that I am completely unfamiliar with. I want Him to blow me away. I want to see my childlike faith restored and even made stronger. If that means church-folk have opinions about that and issues with be it. There is an anticipation and expectancy in my soul and spirit. I have no idea what I'm doing. HA!



Thursday, July 16, 2009

What the???

So, I had an art show several months back. It was fairly successful. I sold a few pieces. The coffee shop kept one piece on "hold." And then, I flat forgot about it. So I remembered when I was looking for the piece for another show. I have had a note for the past month or so at work to remind myself to ask about it. Well, when I asked today- it turns out that the new manager cleaned out the office and gave everything to Goodwill, including my piece of art. What does one do? In answer to "Your contact information wasn't left for me." Well, the contact info was on the back of the piece. I'm pretty hacked off. I know this coffee shop struggles financially- they're really a non-profit agency. But I mean, what the heck? Obviously, the new manager didn't know about that piece of art. She didn't remember seeing it, didn't know what it was, why it was there. So what can I do? I'm angry. But I can't get the piece back. I feel like it would be pointless to be asked to be reimbursed since the new manager doesn't even remember the piece. And I wonder where it is. It's a huge BUMMER. I really liked the piece. Hopefully, it'll end up in a good home. I am going to choose to let it go and hope my emotions can catch up to that decision.

It's just been one of those weeks. The main server at work died- you know, the one that has ALL the info for the theatre on it- including all the archival photos of my lovely work. Suffice it to say, tensions are running high 'round these parts.

I've still been cranky. I think it's because I'm...."growing." As I delve deeper, I find myself restless and frustrated. Longing for something I can't even name.

I've been praying and seeking God...I've got lots of "deep thoughts" swirling in my head.....probably many people who read my blog wouldn't want to know what I'm really thinking. Which is a shame. Because I'd really like to share. Just a hint: I am REALLY, REALLY struggling with church right now....not God, not Christ- just Church- and it's a very deep issue for me. I keep hearing "surrender" and wondering what it means. Do we just give up on church and call it done for the time being? That would be a risk and it would cost a lot. Do we give up something good for an unknown something great? I just don't know. Surrender. Give up. It kind of feels like that, to be honest. But then what? And for a girl who has loved church her whole life, this is really HARD. But I feel like....when I read my Bible and meditate and pray- I'm grounded, centered, at peace, full of God's strength and joy. I'm learning, my mind and my heart are expanding. When I go to church, I feel like life gets just sucked out of me. It's not like that for everyone at the church. But it is for me. And for Marty. So what does that mean?

I just don't know.

I'm not interested in playing church. I am becoming more and more convinced that what God intended church to be doesn't even exist today. Jesus was the rule-breaker. He scolded all the "church" folk with their rules and expectations...He broke them all. And I wonder. I wonder, what has happened to awe? What has happened to the joy of the Lord? I am not talking about shiny-happy B.S......When did meeting Jesus become more about becoming nice than having your life turned upside-down? What has happened to us? Why can't we be real? Why must we be so nice? Does loving someone mean you are always "nice?" What if you need to tell them hard truths for their own good because you love them? Why can't we confess our doubts and struggles? Our sin? Why is everyone so complacent and content to just sit there on Sunday morning and listen? Why don't they pursue God? He pursues us. I am really wanting to crash into Him. Really. I don't want to follow Jesus' rules, I want to follow Jesus. I want to know Him more, as a person, as my Savior. I want the Holy Spirit to talk with me- to know He's welcome to hang with me..... I want to KNOW God. As much as my tiny mind and understanding are able to....

And how can people who have pretty much denied the person of the Holy Spirit for YEARS expect Him to "rain fire" down on them and flow in their midst without acknowledging that they have denied him and apologize to Him? Is that how their relationships with each other work?
"Hi, I've ignored you and denied your existence for years, come and be my best friend."

Sorry. These are some of the thoughts swirling and whirling in my head. I've made some choices lately in my life. To slow down. To listen. To meditate. To be still. My desire is to be able to hear. If I can hear, it'll probably be easier to obey. But these lifestyle choices just seem to flow in the opposite direction of the culture. Everyone is soooo busy. How can you build a friendship with someone you never spend time with? You can't. We live in a world of acquaintances that people think are friends. It grieves my heart.

See? I told you that you probably didn't want to know what I was thinking. And all that is just the TIP of the iceberg.

So, I'm all stirred up. Does it show? I remember someone praying over me that "What God is doing in you is too big to be contained within four walls." I think I thought that meant I would go out on the mission field (which I did) but I really think NOW, what that prayer meant was about my understanding of who God is and it can't be contained in a church. And for that, I'm thankful. But boy, I still miss loving church.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'm grouchy

Yep. It's true. So beware. Back off. GRRRRR.... I'm not really sure why I'm such a grump. I don't think it's hormones. It is tech and there have been a few last minute bumps along the way, but nothing we can't really handle in the grand scheme of eternity. But man, I can't handle it! I am GROUCHY. I prayed about it last night. I prayed about it this morning. When something came along to test how I would handle my grouchy attitude...I totally FAILED. The person who I fussed at, fussed back and we made up and we're fine. But I still hate it. I hate that I wasn't "Grace under pressure." I could rant and carry on about the situation, it's a valid recurring issue- but I don't want to. I mean, I do, but I won't.

And to deal with that today? On a day I can't even stand myself. OY. So, I'm not sure what's up. I know I'm tired- it's tech, it's a given. Duh. I just don't know why I can't handle life at the moment. But I hope I can get over myself SOON.

Monday, June 29, 2009


It's true. I haven't posted in ages. Ah well.
What is new? Nothing. Everything. Life.

Work is going well. Money is tight in the land of theatre. And we're feeling it a bit, probably not as much as other theatres, but donations and grants are down. This week, we begin dress rehearsals for Smoke On the Mountain: Homecoming- a root-tootin' gospel good time. It's fun, it should do well, and there are only SEVEN costumes. Huzzah. I am also trying to design Enchanted April- which I LOVE- the book, the movie, the play...doesn't matter. I love the story. It's gorgeous. I want the costumes to be gorgeous- and cost less that $4200! Which considering I could spend $10,000 on fabric alone....well...there you go.

We went to DC on vacation at the beginning of June. We visited some of Marty's childhood friends. We had an awesome time and it was great to see him having soooo much fun. We went to "my house," Mount Vernon- and I am happy to say they are taking very good care of it. We also checked out ALL the art museums at the Smithsonian and a couple of the other museums. I can now say that I have seen Kermit the Frog and Oscar the Grouch in person.
A few days after we returned, my friend, Susan, from High School came to visit and we had a GREAT TIME. It's so nice to be friends with someone- and have the relationship be deep enough that you slip back into it like you haven't been apart for so long. It just reminds me that relationships are built by time spent together. And I worry, that in our high-tech, busy society- will we survive?

On the faith front. Well, that's a loaded topic. I have been camped out in Psalm 106 for a few days- reading about those stiff-necked Israelites that remind me so much of us. Reading about Moses and Phinehas who interceded for God's mercy on his people.... things that make you go hmmmmmm..... I look around at our society and I despair sometimes. My heart cries out at all the injustice, the unemployment, the hunger, the homelessness, the violence...the fame.

Yes, the fame. Obviously, this week, with the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, fame and mortality have been on my brain. And the older I get, the more I understand God (a.k.a.- the LESS I understand God...) the more I am convinced that fame and celebrity are not such a good thing. Even if you intend to use your power for "good." Fame seems to destroy people. It separates them from reality, from other people, from realistic relationships. Even the seemingly most stable people struggle with it. It grieves my heart. Life is hard. We're all a mess. Imagine having all your skeletons out there in the open for everyone to see. Imagine people taking your advice as if you were some sort of religion? (Oprah, anyone?) Imagine thousands of tweens screaming and crying and fainting when they see you, because they think you are someone you are not? No privacy...inflated pride (I mean, how can one not start buying into it after awhile?) ...entitlement....being surrounded by "yes" men...not having anyone in your life that will tell you that you are out of line....yikes. No, thank you. And as an artist- when do you cross the point of no return? When do you lose the art, the craft, the passion, the WORK? If you lose the call and become about the celebrity....what then? I know people who were damaged by even a little bit of celebrity. On a local level. They started to be recognized at the grocery store. And then they started to separate themselves from the people around them. The "little" people were unable to gain access anymore. What the heck? How is THAT healthy? God is no respector of persons, He doesn't play favorites. We're all his favorite. Proverbs talks about how favoring people over one another is a bad thing. Huh. I digress, but these things float in my mind. I confess, I like to be recognized for the good work I do- but do I want to become famous? I don't think so. I don't think my character is strong enough to handle all that.

Anyhoo- and in my mind and heart...I can feel God getting bigger. I mean, I feel my UNDERSTANDING of God getting bigger. He's so very big. So very sovereign. He is I AM. I don't know how to describe the revelation that is coming to me. It's deep...and big. I just think about how God never changes, but how our understanding of who He is can grow and change. I mean, we know the earth isn't flat, right? Once upon a time- that was our understanding. And I worry about the "Church" which is content in their understanding of today. They don't want more. They don't want closer. They are content with what they know, and then they want to impose it on everyone else. It's all "don't drink, don't chew, don't go with girls that do..." or whatever flavor of rules that particular brand likes.... It drives me batty. I read a quote, and I can't remember who said it, but I love it- and I think it applies to so much of christianity....

"God allows more variety than I am comfortable with."


And on that note, end scene. Selah.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Storm comin'.....

This has been an interesting time for my life. I am still deeply mourning the loss of my kitty, Mickey. It strikes me at odd times and breaks my heart. Yet at the same time, I sense there is change in the air. I can feel it.

What do I feel? I'm not sure. I am restless. I am frustrated. I sense a disturbance in the force- God is on the move. But I don't think we're moving in the same direction as most of the people in our lives are. I don't know what it means. I don't know what the future holds. A long time ago, someone was praying for me- prophesying-and she said, "What God is doing in you is so big that it cannot be contained in four walls." That has been on my mind and in my heart very strongly over the past few weeks. I feel as if my walk with the Lord has opened up. I am growing. I am seeking. I feel grounded. I feel peace. I feel free. I know that seems contradictory with the restlessness and frustration. But the grounded, peaceful freedom- that's ME. The restlessness and frustration is a circumstance and a situation that needs to change. It's been around for months. Marty feels it too. But change is hard, no matter what. And I am afraid. I am afraid of losing friends that are in the process of being made. I am afraid of the unknown. I am afraid of not having a place to lay my head- so to speak. But I know God is with me. I know He is so unbelievably big, so unbelievably sovereign- that I can barely begin to imagine it. I know He is for us. I know that He has a hope and a future for us. I have no doubt about that. But I doubt my courage. I doubt the fragile bonds of friendship we have built that could break with one decision. I don't know if people would understand what they don't see themselves and trust that we are following God.

I had a dream last Sunday night. It's a dream that troubles my days. I don't want to write what the dream was as I know it would needlessly upset some folks who are faithful enough to actually read my blog. I have sought advice and prayer about this dream. The implications are not pleasant. But the dream brought me hope. The dream showed me that what God is doing in me is getting ready to flow in a new way. If you pray, I would appreciate prayer. Prayer that I am hearing clearly. Prayer that the timing is right. Prayer of protection over relationships. Prayer against fear and doubt. Prayer for confirmation. Prayer that I really don't screw this up. It is what I have heard of called a "kairos" time- a key moment in time. I really don't know what to do.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We put our cat, Mickey, to sleep- one week ago tonight. He would have been 17 in June. The grief has been a bit overwhelming, hence I haven't been able to blog sooner. We knew it would come eventually- but it seemed as if when "eventually" arrived, it went so very quickly. He was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease about two years ago. The vet told us then that the treatment would only work for one and a half to two years and then it would stop working. And it did. And there were other complications of old age...and we just couldn't watch him get really, really sick and suffer. We did get the full two years, and I don't regret one moment of the spoiled life we gave him. He was so very loved and he knew it and I know that he loved us back.

He got to die at home. It will cost us an arm and a leg- but my one regret with Max was that his last "thing" was a traumatic trip to the vet. I didn't want that for Mickey. So, after we made the decision- after a weekend when he started to fail and quit eating and had blood tests that showed some wonky stuff....we asked the vet to come to the house. And she, being the kind-hearted woman that she is, did. We got off work early and spent the afternoon with him. It was the shortest afternoon that lasted forever. His passing was peaceful...for him, but not for us.

Marty said I should start to blog and remember him. No blogging could do him justice. As much as I have loved all my pets with all my heart, Mickey was larger than life. I don't know- there was just something about him. He had enough personality for nine cats. And in this last year of his life- he just got "bigger." He would sleep on my arm at night- he had his little bedtime routine and if it was off- you heard about it. He would wait for me on the bed- sometimes, he would give up and go to sleep with Marty- but as soon as I got to bed- he would come over to my side, lay on my arm and have to be tucked in to bed with me. He would wait for us on the toilet while we took a shower. He would walk around the house with his "baby" in his mouth- hollering if we weren't paying attention to him. He LOVED, LOVED, LOVED going outside on the balcony with me when the weather was nice- we have spent the last two summers out there together, it won't be the same without him. He loved catnip and treats. He liked only "fishy" food which made his breath STINK. He would let me give him meds, but he would fight his daddy. He would sit on his daddy's lap when he was at the computer and "make biscuits" in his lap. Sometimes he would sit next to me, gaze adoringly at me and purr and drool. It was hilarious. In his later years, he became a total mama's boy. It's hard to believe that the first month I had him, sixteen years ago, he hardly came out from under the bed. There are so many memories....

When we lived in Asheville, he used to sit in the corners of the apartment and yell. I honestly think he just liked the acoustics and the sound of his voice. One night, there was a storm- a bad one- and in the middle of the night he came running into the bedroom, "Meow! MEow! meow! MEOW!meOW! MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW!!!!"- he was a wreck! He kept running back and forth between the bedroom and living room yelling. Finally, I got up to see what his problem was- I flipped on the light on the back porch and there were NINE cats out there. I told him, "Well! No wonder you're upset!" He would chirp at birds. He loved to go for rides in cars (until he got to the vet, then he wasn't such a fan) He was always so vocal. He would answer you when you talked to him. He would hum. If you asked him a question- he would reply, "Hmm." It was so funny. If you were sitting at the dining room table, he had to sit there too. He always had to be in the middle of everything.

He and Max were amazing when we came to Seattle. They did very well during the move, I think because we were altogether. Our little family. I remember being on the phone with Marty before he moved out here, and Mickey was sitting in a chair across the room washing his bottom. (He really preferred to wash his butt in front of company....) I was watching a nature show about birds on PBS and he got distracted and actually sat there, with his leg straight up in the air, and watched TV for TWENTY MINUTES. I couldn't believe it. He always perked up when birds were on TV.

Mickey loved our apartment we have now. When we were moving, I would bring him over to get used to the place and he would get mad at me when we had to go back. He really loved it here- the windows, all the space. We had to put bricks in front of all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets because Mickey figured out how to get into the cabinets, but he couldn't get out.

When he was diagnosed with IBD, he had to have an ultrasound and other procedures. Being as old as he was, he didn't handle the anesthesia particularly well ( he takes after his mom that way) The night we brought him home, he was so spacey, he would forget where he was. He was sooo tired. He almost fell asleep in his water dish. I had to carry him around to help him. He was my baby.

There are soooo many memories. They all blur and blend, and hit me at odd times. The Mickey-sized hole in my heart is enormous. I miss him so much. I think it's harder because when we lost the other kitties (Trinity and Max) there was always someone to come home to. Now, the apartment is hugely "empty." I was in the other room when they actually gave him the shot, but I felt him go. I know that sounds weird, but I knew the moment he was gone.

We still look for him. I still leave closets open, shut doors that don't need to be shut, move bricks that aren't there. I have to resist the urge to look for him if I haven't seen him in awhile or to call out to him as I leave or come home. It's astonishing how deep that little four-legged furry guy got into our hearts. I can't believe he's gone. I can't believe how much it still hurts. Last night, I just wanted one more chance to hold him. But not in this lifetime. We love you and miss you, buddy. I hope wherever you are- it's full of sunshine and catnip and you are happy with Max and Trinity.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear Anonymous, about Good Friday...

....I am intrigued and perplexed by your comment. Who, pray tell, were you referring to? Please elaborate.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A good Good Friday.....

Well, I woke up tired and in a mood. I was so cranky, I couldn't even stand to be around myself. And that's the truth. It's holy week and believe you me- I was feeling about as far from holy as you can be. But I sat down for my quiet time this morning anyhoo- and I just told God what was on my mind. I told Him I was tired and crabby from meetings, and rain, and fittings, and rain and work stress, and rain, and art walks, and power fabric shopping, and art for Stations of the Cross and all that jazz. It's been a very busy week. I told Him I knew I should be all spiritual about holy week, but I just was SO NOT THERE. So I asked Him to help me out. I wasn't specific and I didn't know what to expect, but this is what happened....

First, I realized it was my friend Amy's birthday. Of course, I wished her happy birthday on Facebook. Duh. I'm with it. But I really love her and thought- what the heck, I never use all my minutes anyway- I think I'll just call her. She's helped me through so much spiritual stuff and loved me- how could I not? So, I got her voicemail and left my message and thought- that was that. But, no. She called me back and we entered into a huge spiritual discussion like we like to have (I miss it so much, and Marty always makes fun of me because when Amy and I talk- it's every couple of months for HOURS- for the record, today's call- 1:31) and I was so blessed to be able to encourage her and help her. It was at times a very interesting's a topic- "Church and Beer"- discuss.
Basically, her church is putting on a production of Godspell as an outreach. It sounds like it won't be embarrassing church drama (thank goodness, y'all know how I feel about that). This church has a lot of artistic types and they meet in a bar (I think it's brilliant) and through a miscommunication with the bar it's been discovered that the bar intends to serve beer at the shows. She was having quite mixed feelings about it. So- we chatted and I told her this is what I think- let them serve beer and let the people Jesus really would have hung out with see the show and be blessed and loved on and have a good time OR....don't serve beer, have a nice holy huddle of mostly church folk and their friends having a good time by themselves. Us four and no more...again. Thoughts?

So after my thoroughly enjoyable chat with Amy, which I think encouraged both of us, it was back to work. Then Marty and I had to figure out when we were going to see the art at the Stations of the Cross at church. We decided not to go to the Taize service tonight, mostly because I have been out almost every single night this week and we're going out tomorrow night and I'll be at church for about 4-5 hours on Sunday and enough is enough, you know? So we decided to go early and then I could go back to work. Well, I don't know what prompted me, well, yes, I do- that Holy Spirit- he's a wacky one. But I asked my muslim intern to go with us. She is adorable and smart and fun and I love her to pieces. She's visiting from Turkey and since she's been here- she's seeing and experiencing as much as she can. She was dating a guy a while back and she went to the catholic church for a service with him. And when she told me about it- I told her, well- not all churches are like that- and we had a nice little discussion about it. So today, I thought- why not? I knew she wanted to see my art and Marty's art and so I said- do you want to go? And of course, being the lovely and open person she is, she was very excited to go. So off we went. And I had the privilege of telling the story of Christ to my intern. I wasn't out to convert her or anything- it just became apparent that she had never heard the story of Jesus (which must have made that catholic service REALLY confusing) and it helped her to understand the art so much better. I'm sure I bungled stuff along the way- but I just told her the story as we went and she was very interested and open to it all. She didn't fall on her knees weeping to be baptized or anything, but I had the privilege of telling her the story of my faith. It was really COOL. And she really liked it.

So that's my day. It turned out to be fairly redemptive after all. It had nothing to do with me except for me asking and being in tune to opportunities. Suffice it to say, I am in a MUCH better mood now- although I'm still pretty dang skippy tired. I think I'll go "polish my halo" before bed- ha, ha, ha.

Happy Easter y'all!
(Or as they say at the Seattle Public Library- Happy "Historical Low Usage" day!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Will I remember?

"If it's bad art, it's bad religion, no matter how pious the subject."

Thank you, Madeline L'Engle!!! YOU ROCK! How do I miss you? Let me count the ways..... I know she's having a big time in heaven- and that makes me happy.

I picked up Walking on Water, Reflections on Faith and Art again this morning... while I may be discouraged with "church," I am not discouraged with God and have decided I need to pursue that which I know to be true. Sounds deep doesn't it? Actually, I have no idea what I am talking about- but, perhaps, in time. I do know that I am inspired again to make art- stay tuned...I am pretty excited.

Another thing from Ms. L'Engle to ponder:

One of the great sorrows which came to human beings when Adam and Eve left the garden was the loss of memory, memory of all that God's children are meant to be.

Will I remember?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh, the irony.....

So I went to the Greenbean Coffee Shop today to get a salad for lunch. As I walked by a car, I noticed a bumper sticker that read "Dogs are family. Would you leave your grandma chained up at home?"

Okay. I am okay with that statement, except...

THEIR DOG WAS LOCKED IN THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!! And it was one of those dogs that hurls itself and barks like mad at any passer-by.
I was very tempted to stick a note on their car saying, "Would you leave your grandma locked in the car while you enjoy a cup of coffee inside?"
People are goofy.

In other news- I am enjoying the "lull" at work, catching up on some projects at home and...relaxing. It won't last long, believe me. I am looking forward to the visit of dear friends- although, I received a notice for jury duty today that would interfere...jury duty on my BIRTHDAY....of course, I will try and get out of it. Thankfully, it's the week we start dress rehearsals, hopefully I can get out because of work. So that's all the news....

Don't lock your grandma in the car or leave her chained up at home....

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

In the beginning...


Why? Why? Why is creativity so distrusted in the church? Why do we settle for so little? What about quality? What about excellence? Aren't we supposed to do EVERYTHING as unto the glory of God? HELLLOOOO? What does it take to break this mediocrity mentality? Why can't we glorify God through art, drama, dance and music? Why doesn't excellence matter? Why doesn't substance matter? Why doesn't quality matter? What happened to beauty? Does anybody care?


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy New Year! I am a little late in posting...but cut me some slack- it's been a busy month or so....

I'm recovering nicely from my gall bladder surgery. But I had a bit of an infection around one of the wounds and am on round two of antibiotics which should end Friday- so I STILL can't eat just anything I want....grrr..... so I plan to have lots of chocolate and dairy on Friday just because I CAN. I am happy to report I enjoyed our friends' New Year's Day prime rib feast with NO REPERCUSSIONS!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah! Pretty cool stuff. I have funny scars on my belly- but life goes on.

Work is...well, you guessed it...busy. So much for taking it easy. It's a little crazy for me since I have to keep reminding myself that I can't lift anything over 10-15 lbs. until the end of the month. I didn't realize how much heavy lifting I do in my job until now. I have to ask for help all the time- it's annoying. People are awesome in helping...but what a pain! Currently, we're working on Gee's Bend and it's going as well as can be dresses next Friday. Then we're on to Tuesdays with Morrie- which, to be honest, is actually finished pending fittings. I guess I'll spend the next couple of months doing a much needed purge and organize in stock. Whoo. The thrill. The glamour. THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT, PEOPLE! Wow.

I'm trying to get some new art done for a show that I'm doing with Marty in February- and then I have a piece I need to get done that has been ordered. So that's all the news on the art front.

On the spiritual front- I'm feeling a bit more like my fiesty self as of late. I don't know what that means- except that I'll probably make people feel a smidge uncomfortable. I'm trying to get back in the habit of reading my Bible again- I was a bit "lapsed"- to say the least- last year. I find myself tired of "polite prayer." Not sure what to do about that- or where it will lead- or what the heck. I don't know where I seem to be going- but I'm glad I'm moving again. As I look back on my history in church....ponder the days of being congregational, presbyterian, non-denominational- here in the states and overseas....I have always seemed to challenge the status quo. This little revelation came to me last month. I always question- and ask- but why are we doing it this way when the Bible says this??? I think I have made my peace with this. I guess I am "the voice in the wilderness- calling all the white elephants out!" The only thing is, I really need to constantly do that "log check" and make sure there isn't a log in MY eye. Sigh. Why me? Lord, give me courage and balance and wisdom and discernment. Wow. That got deep there for a minute. Yikes.

What is black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white?

A penguin falling down the stairs!

Thank you! Y'all have been a great audience! Have a good night!