3 Days in an Airport

I started 2014 out with a great trip to Key West to meet up with a friend to attend 5 days of the band NRBQ at the Hog’s Breath Salon. But to get there, I had to leave during one of the worst winter storms to hit the Indianapolis Airport.

I arrived on Sunday night for a 6 am flight on Monday morning. I was trying to get in before the roads were closed. We just made it. And they cancelled my flight as we hit Indianapolis. I convinced John to leave me, as I had been rebooked on the 8 am flight. However, I was not offered a hotel that night because the roads were closed and the hotels were no longer letting their shuttle busses out on the roads. So I commandeered a sofa in the main lobby and set up nesting. I had a travel pillow and blanket. I purchased a couple of bottles of water and pulled out my computer. I was set for the night.

Until my computer’s battery ran down. Sigh. Of course all of the wall outlets are filled with other people’s electronics. However, there were all of these floor outlets by the sofas. They were sort of locked down. The guy on the sofa next to mine and I started investigating. He said that if he had a screwdriver, he could open one. I dug some coins out of my pocket and started to work. We had that puppy open in less than a minute. Then we taught the other people in the lobby how to do it. Power for all!

I really enjoyed getting to know all my fellow couch squatters. Of course, we were all expecting to get out sometime Monday. The first night passed nicely, most of us slept off and on.

By 6am the next morning, flights were starting to be cancelled. I was rebooked on a 10 am flight. Then rebooked on a later flight…then…. all in all, I had 5 flights cancelled. Nothing was getting out on Monday. Nothing. From our window, we watched them trying to de-ice planes. The planes were freezing up as soon as the de-icing machine moved to the next section. And the mayor had closed all the roads in town along with the highways.

So no hotel on the 2nd night because once again, the hotels were not sending out their shuttles. Good thing I had managed to keep my sofa and nest all day. Those of us homesteading on the lobby couches, took turns watching each other’s spaces so no squatters could take over.

On Tuesday, the roads opened up and some flights were getting out. But they were mostly already over booked by this point. I was put on a flight for Wednesday morning and wait-listed on a few for Tuesday. No surprise, but not a single seat opened up for me on Tuesday. I was offered a hotel that night. But quite frankly, I had grown fond of my little nest and my fellow squatters. So rather than pack up all my luggage, I turned them down. I was sleeping pretty well and enjoying my uninterrupted computer time.

AND I read 4 books during this time! If I had been a knitter, I would have made a sweater, like the lady on the blue couch did.

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Getting there….

Yes, it’s been a long time since my last post. But I’ve been busy. Really. I’m now involved in not one, but 2 different diabetes studies that concentrate on diet and exercise. Bottom line, there are a whole bunch of people interested in what I eat and how I move. Which means that a whole lot of my time is spent logging my food intake and attending follow ups and classes. It’s all very good for me and about time that I concentrated on my health. And both of these were 2 year commitments. So I’m going to be doing this for a while, no matter where I go or what I’m doing. It all has to be part of my life for the next 1 year, 11 months and 4 days. 

I am also doing costumes for Theatre South’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. Come on, you knew there was a show that I was working on somewhere. I can’t seem to break away from the entertainment world.  

So to my 2 faithful readers, I will try to do better to keep up this blog. 

Once Upon A Mattress

So I’m chained to my sewing machine in an attempt to churn out over 100 costumes for a high school production of Once Upon A Mattress. I have some pretty pictures that I drew up as to how I want it to look. Now comes the reality of what can really be accomplished in a short period of time and on a limited budget. So many compromises between the renderings and the stage.

If I end up with any “pretty photos” of the results, I try to learn how to post them here. But until then, back to my chains.

The Minstrel

The Minstrel

So I’ve chained myself to the sewing machine. By my count, there are 118 costumes (due to a very large cast and double casting) that will need to move through my sewing machine. And only a very few weeks, and very little money. But this is my life.

Johnny Depp, HERE?

Big news, Johnny Depp has been in town. they were filming “The Lone Ranger” and the whole town of Creede has been turned over to the film crew. One of my favorite places for free wi-fi has been closed for a “3 day private party”….I was not invited, hence the problem.

The actual film wrapped up a couple of days ago, so all the actors have left. But the film crew is still here “returning the site to the original state”. Right. Long story short, between the summer people (like me), the tourist, and the film crew, there are way too many people in town to suit me. Money, money, money, the locals are loving it. They know that these people will not be here forever. Few people last a winter at 8,800 ft. Their peace will return by October. But I’m having trouble finding a seat in one of the free wi-fi taverns. 

I expect  I’ll be spending more time than usual up in the “high meadows” fishing this year. If I wanted to be around so many big city people, I would vacation in California or New York. Hope the fish are biting. 

Whisper the Wind, I’m back!

I am back in Colorado, listening to the wind whisper my name in the pines. Sigh. I am home.

 

It was 35 degrees when I woke up this morning. The air was a bit hazy last evening. there is a wild fire over at Pagosa Springs and the wind is blowing it up into our valley. That wild fire is not threatening any urban areas (unlike the other fires in Colorado), so they will let it burn and hopefully burn itself out. Our cabin is not threatened, the actual fire is so far away. We’ll just have to put up with the smoke when the wind is right.

MacB. Or “That Play Which Must Not Be Mentioned”

 

So I’ve crossed a line. I’m doing a community theatre production. I’ve never done “That Scottish Play”, so I eagerly belly flopped into the deep end of a production of MacB. It is community theatre. I’ve not done community theatre in so many years that I’ve forgotten all the quirks that come with non-educational, non-professional theatre production. Things like no budget. Things like actors not showing up for rehearsals because their favorite show is on TV that night or dropping out altogether because, hey, they didn’t realize that they needed to be at so many rehearsals.  Things like rehearsal spaces in the park with no restroom facilities.  All of this set in 90-degree temperatures in the park.

 

And the curse. Superstition has it, that you must not utter the name of the play or the spirits of all thespians will curse the theatre and there will be dire consequences. Like real bullets mysteriously being placed in the prop gun. (We aren’t using guns, so no worries there). Like costumes developing large, embarrassing rips (with these costumes, no one would notice a new rip.) Lightening striking the theatre and it burning to the ground…OK this would be a problem since we are doing it in the park. The park has a really neat playground, the loss of which would incur the wrath of multitudes of moms with small children. Sorry, but “Hell hath no fury” like a mom without access to her favorite park. I’ve been there, I know.

 

So I refuse to say the name of Shakespeare’s Scottish play because, well, why take the chance of having all my future generations being cursed by a mom holding a runny nosed little tike staring at a burnt out jungle gym? Besides which, the curse has already taken over my house.

 

There is no theatre as such, so no place for all the finished costumes to live except in my house and car. And no workspace, except for my house and car. So this production has taken over, not only my sewing room (which is floor to ceiling boxes and piles of cloth, clothes, and stuff) but the old dinning room (who’s new purpose has yet to be determined), the new dinning room (in which the sewing machine has escaped to, the actual sewing room being uninhabitable at the moment due to boxes of stuff), and the living room (which has every available seat, table, and floor space covered with costumes that will not be used in this production).

 

I have 2 weeks left to finish this whole mess. And I still have 8 naked actors. I am trying to create costumes that are not historically correct, but suggest an alternative universe type thing in the same period. Did you follow that? They need to look heavy, but be light enough that my actors will not get heat stroke in the middle of the production. That is one of my standards; the costumes should not cause death in the actors.  Hey, we all have lines we will not cross.

I’m not feelin…

I’m not feeling well and decided (while running errands) to just go home and go to bed with a book. That always makes me feel better. So I went to the book store to get a certain book that had been recommended to me and guess what? It was out of print. Now I should have just walked out of the store, I have about a hundred books at home waiting to be read, but no, NOT me! $30 later, I left the store with two books and two magazines. Which I brought home and added to the pile. Did I read them? No. Did I go to bed and take care of myself? No. 

So the pile of unread books grows and I am still working on a show for the community theatre. That translates into no money, but gee, isn’t she wonderful for doing this.  It the Scottish Play which must not be named when you are working on it. Fun.

So I haven’t w…

So I haven’t written lately. Have you noticed? Seems I’ve been busy and just can’t say no to projects that inspire me. Right now I am working on a MacBeth and a Once Upon A Mattress. So that’s one for the Dark side and one for the Light side. 

On a personal note. We got a new puppy. Nona needed a puppy, so I found a picture on Petfinder.com and fell in love. A mere 9 hour car trip later, and Rosie (a lab/????/maybe bullmastiff mix) has joined our family. So the dastardly duo of No and Ro are busy wreaking havoc on whatever part of the house we allow them into. And as soon as we get Rosie housebroken, life will be easier. 

The Christmas Letter, 2011

                                                              

Dear Family, Friends, and all those people who have no idea why they are reading this letter,

Greetings from the end of the twisty, turny, gravel road. The Grinch has arrived at our house and is attempting to squelch Christmas by hitting us with his big ‘ole Bah Humbug stick. Our house at Red Sky is so torn up with renovation; there is no space for a Christmas tree. AND yesterday, while attempting to take the dogs outside, I stumbled, was pulled, tangled in dog leads, went down hard on my twisted left knee and now I am on strict orders to stay OFF the knee. In case you have never noticed, the knee is right in the middle of the left leg, which ends in a foot….  I am off my feet until I see the specialist next week. And, so, Family Christmas Elf (me) hits the dirt. There are no decorations hung, no tree decorated, no candy made, no presents purchased, no gifts wrapped.  But I am fighting back. I am waging a counter attack on the Grinch with a brand new set of crutches and a great deal of patience. Since I’m not known for my patience, you can imagine how this is going.   

My dear husband, life partner, nurse, and, for the moment, my legs, has taken this opportunity to work on the floor between our bedroom and the kitchen. I had to make a choice between being in the kitchen or the bathroom for the next few days. The only way to get from one to the other involves a path outside. Now I realize that most sane people would do this sort of renovation in the lovely, warm days of summer. We’ve never been accused of being sane.  It is wet and cold outside and I am having enough trouble hobbling around with these crutches on even ground. This leaves me stuck in the other end of the house from where I want to be… no matter which end I chose. Ah, the season of my dis-content!

Yes, yes, on to news of the family and more cheerful topics. The older girls are doing well in their respective families.  The grandkids are all healthy and growing by leaps and bounds. All 6 of them.  I am looking forward to our family Christmas on the 24th…even if we have to hold it in my bedroom…without a tree. No really, it won’t be like that, we will have the house reconnected by then and somewhat decorated, I’m sure.

The son has had an eventful year. He became officially engaged, with a wedding in the plans for after her graduation in a couple of years. Along with working as a local stagehand, he traveled with Cardinal Stage Company to SanibelIsland, FL, taking their production of  “Souvenir”  to a Theatre Festival down there. It was quite an experience since he drove the truck accompanied by the wardrobe mistress… which happened to be his mother, me. I thought it was an interesting bonding experience. We did things that most mothers and sons never get to do. We shared a very shady hotel room in Fort Myers, right beside a building with a neon blinking sign advertising “Asian Massages.”  We sang songs to keep us awake on the long drive, we talked for 20 hours straight on part of the trip, and we both found out things about each other that we never really wanted to know.  I see no correlation between that and the fact that shortly after this experience, He ran away and joined the circus. He went to Canada and became a rigger with Cavalia’s Odysseo.  Seriously, people, Google it, it is amazing and it just opened in Atlanta, GA. We will be going down after Christmas to see it and I am so excited about it.

The Youngest Daughter is in her senior year at Northwestern and doing extremely well. We are still getting quarterly letters from NU congratulating us on her Dean’s List standing. As for after graduation??????? She knows that she wants to stay in the Chicago area, but that is as far as her planning goes. I have heard her tell someone that she was going to law school, but when questioned she admitted that it was just a way to shut people up about her after school plans. Apparently when you say that you are going to law school, no one asked for specifics. I guess I can’t get too upset about this. I do remember my plans for life after I graduated from Texas Tech. I had a ticket to New York and a packed suitcase. It’s worked out pretty well for me.

 DH and I continue to live life in a pretty consistent fast forward mode. Well, until I hit the deck, so to speak and put the brakes on my projects.  But before that…this year we have managed to rip out bits and pieces of the house, moved things all over the place, and have embraced the art of living in chaos. We took a month off this summer to go to Colorado.  I had a reunion there with some cousins, and DH met up with his Boy Scout troop at Philmont Boy Scout Reservation in New Mexico. It was DH’s 2nd Philmont expedition, but first-time for everyone else on his crew.  I think he really enjoyed it a lot more this 2nd time.

At the auditorium, I’ve been privileged to work backstage for The Cleveland Orchestra, Blue Man Group (I’m still finding blue grease paint on my black, backstage uniform), Fiddler on the Roof, Spring Awakening, Kodo Drummers (nearly naked men beating on drums, what could be wrong?), The Chieftains (lovely music), Ron White (I still don’t get his humor…oh well, he’s the millionaire and I’m still poor), Drumline Live (a marching band on stage? It worked well, but the costumes really stank), the Joffrey Ballet (so beautiful, so beautiful), Thomas the Train, Spamalot, The 9/11 Commission (being a fly on the wall in the greenroom for this was amazing!), Strange Fruit (three dancers climb onto tiny platforms at the top of 15 ft. poles and dance….really, really beautiful. You have to see it to understand!), Jon Stewart (I am a fan for life), Janelle Monae (Yes, I didn’t know who she was, but now I love her music), San Francisco Jazz Company, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Shrek (a very fun musical!), and Paul Simon (YES, the Paul Simon. The teenager in me spent the entire day thinking “OMG, OMG, OMG it’s Simon from Simon and Garfunkel” the exact reverse from when we had Art Garfunkel here.) We also hosted an evening with Carol Burnett during which I demonstrated my ability to be a star-stuck ninny. Whenever she directed a question in my direction, my first response was always “ab, ab, ab, ab” then I would take a deep breath and answer her in English. In my defense, she is the only “star” that has affected me so much and I’m sure it’s because I feel so deeply about her work and how it helped me through some difficult places in my life. 

Last January, we lost the last of the family pets when Princess died. Compounding the grief was the silence that engulfed the house after her passing. Only a house that has known the love of animals can understand the hole left by their absence. DH and I would look at each other and say, “something is missing.” Then I had the opportunity to adopt a small dog that was, well, let’s just say she was in the wrong home. She was a year old Bichon Frise.  Weighing in at 7 lbs. she had spent most of her life in a cage and was uneasy being out of it for any length of time. She came to us unsprayed, with ear infections, and a coat that had never been groomed. The moment I picked her up, she curled right into my heart. It took about 5 minuets longer for her to claim DH as her own. She was No Name for a day or two, until I shorten it to Nona. But it took a whole week before we became one of “those people.” At first I refused to believe it, but there was no denying it when I heard with my own ears DH telling Nona that “her mother would be down to deal with her.” Soon we will be dressing her in little outfits and wearing matching t-shirts declaring us the proud parents of a Bichon. In order to save us from dancing over the edge, we are still planning on putting up a fence and getting another large dog. DH feels that it is more macho to be the parents of a 110 lb. Bull Mastiff than an 8 lb. (yes, she has gained a pound!) Bichon. At least no one will laugh at us openly when we are being guarded by it.

Costume wise, I got to design only one stage show. “It’s A Wonderful Life” for Theatre South. It was a giant pain due to the fact that it spans 5 decades of life in a small town. But it was well received, so the effort paid off. I did get to do 2 movies. One was a zombie mime short. YES! Zombie Mimes…it was so much fun! I mean, ZOMBI MIMES, how cool is that? There was a lot of laughing on that set. I also got to go back to Texas for another Paul Bright movie. I got to experience first hand the record heat and drought of Central Texas. I expect the results of last summer will be felt for years as the vegetation tries to recover. But the movie was another “how cool is this” time in my life. It dealt with a futuristic world where technology is taking over and the small band of people that are trying to battle it. I got to design some neat shirts for the heroine. I started with old t-shirts and used that as the material. Since it was something I had wanted to do for a while, it was a real treat to experiment with the designs.  There was also a little mouse in this movie. The hero rescues it from the company break room and keeps it for a pet. We named it Harold and it lived with me for the duration of the shoot. The things I do for my art. She (yep, she was a girl named Harold) was one of the best roommates that I’ve every had except that she was also an escape artist. If things in her cage became too quiet, I knew she was on the loose again. I am happy to report that Harold went to live in a pre-school classroom when her film career ended. I understand that she has a real female name now and will use Harold only as her screen name.

Well that pretty much brings us up to date with the events of the last trip around the sun at the end of the twisty turny gravel road. Oh, yeah, there is still no shower in the master bath (but it has been put on the list somewhere after the floor, the fence, and the coat hooks for the kitchen.) And, yes, we still have ostriches.

My pain medication is beginning to wear off. I think it’s time to stop the rambling and make the big decision. More pain medication, or hot rum toddy? The pain medication will probably be more effective, but the rum sounds more festive. And I need to start making lists and planning on ways to pull this Holiday out of the hands of the Grinch and back on track. I think most of the cookie and candy making can be done with me sitting on a stool at the kitchen counter. Shopping will begin tomorrow on the Internet. And decorating is to be kept to the minimum, and will be done as soon as the separate parts of the house are reunited. But for now, kicking back with my feet up and being waited on seems to be what is on my agenda. So I lift my cup in a toast to all of you, may you all find ways to enjoy the beauty of the season, no matter the circumstances. 

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