rowangolightly: (Default)
Reading back in my journal, I realized that I never told the results of the audition

I got the part. I will be playing the Mother in "We Can Do It" which will be performed by Kansas City Women's Chorus on March 24th (Friday evening) and 25th (Saturday matinee) at the Downtown Airport Hanger.

It will really be an awesome, moving, inspiring show about the women of WWII with song and dance and actual women veterans and Rosey the Riveter women onstage during the final number of it.

PLEASE get tickets and come see this!
rowangolightly: (Default)
I'm ready to drop LJ now that everthing, even the comments, transferred over (and no, I am not going to go back and look at stuff more than six years old and get all depressed; I just didn't want to arbitrarily lose it all.)

But now I realize that I don't know how to delete my account over there.

It's sort of a share, since a friend was kind enough to pay for my membership though the year but it's time to let it go (no matter how much I appreciate the gift, and I DO!)

But how?

Good bye!

Jan. 15th, 2017 05:39 pm
rowangolightly: (Default)
I'm leaving LiveJournal.

Several reasons, but primarily due to the nonsense with Russia owning LJ and the security issues involved, as well as the on-going political situation.

I hope to be able to figure out how to back-up all of my posts because I'd hate to lose all that stuff, both good and bad. The whole start of the romance, the wedding and all the band stuff, not to mention all the recipes; I would hate to lose it all.

Of course, I would love to have friends find me over there. I'm RowanGolightly there as well.

Au Revoir!

(EDIT: Holy crap, it cross-posted!)
rowangolightly: (Default)
Wish me luck, people...

I'm out the door soon to go on a date with a very nice guy.

His name is Gary and he's a widower living in Parkville, works at the Liberty School District.

Reports when I get home.

Had a great time. I liked him a lot. Which probably means he's not going to be into me. Just being realistic here; he runs in much richer circles than I do.
rowangolightly: (Susi - current)
But that's ok; I haven't got much else to do right now anyway.

This client who is the mother of one of this year's Renfaire clients, the oh-so-handsome young man who had to drop out of cast because he couldn't make site day. Anyway, she is a delight and has expressed joy at finding a seamstress to work with. She understands (finally) that I don't do alterations but she has a wonderful sense of style and has garments in mind that she wants made. Plus older garments of her mother's that she wants me to recreate. She's tall and gorgeous and a twin; got to meet the other one today, for whom she had me make jammies out of the bamboo velvet velour and then 2 pairs for herself. This is the stuff I've been grousing about on Facebook. It's harder to work on than regular velvet due to being stretchy, so applying non-bias organza around the neck edge as seam binding to finish it is a nightmare but I am just that damned good. She understands enough about sewing to appreciate the difficulty and time it takes.
She's also the first person to actually buy one of my necklace/earrings sets; the one that I mentioned "if it came in silver, I'd want it", well she did.

I have a promising first date tomorrow evening with a very nice man named Gary. He lives in Parkville and works with the School district there. He's a widower and has 4 children with one teenager still living at home. Ages from 15 to 39 or as he described it, "from diapers to Depends." He has hobbies of oil painting and making stained glass, a good sense of humor and a wonderful communicating style; displays a good and not creepy interest in what I'm doing but doesn't email every single day (doesn't cling as the last one did!) He emailed me yesterday with the greeting "Happy Eve of first date" which I told him I thought was both clever and amusing. So wish me luck.

Now I have to go get ready for the great maybe-shows-up, maybe-not, ooops, now I'm in basic training, out of town client. This is WHY I loathe out of town clients and swear I'm not doing this any more! This is the steam punk Little Red (brown) Riding hood one and I'm SO sick of it. Ah well, to finish it soon, I hope.

Getting the new-to-me car back again tomorrow, now with safer tires and wheels! And then I must get it licensed legally; I didn't realize the tag was expired until the tow guy pointed it out. I DO NOT need a ticket on top of everything else. I'm going to have to find out where to go and what I need to take with me (other than the title) because I have no fucking clue. I also need to get my own license updated (birth certificate, old passport, old license) so I might as well do it all at once. OH, and I MUST get to the bank tomorrow to make a big deposit. This car shenanigans have kept me from getting there.

Tonight I'm feeling very hopeful for the next year. I'll take it. No matter the losses and bad events of this year, I'd much rather look into the coming year with hope and anticipation. Hell, if this date goes well, I may even have a date for NYE which would really be a kick; rushing things a lot, but a kick.

And above all, I am incredibly grateful for my lovely friends.
rowangolightly: (Christmas Penny)
Aw, this old pic of Penny at Christmas made me misty-eyed.

It really doesn't feel like Christmas to me but then, it rarely does. I have my moments that it's ok, but mostly, I just want to ignore it.

The new car almost lost a tire this afternoon. Scared the crap out of me; was wobbling and knocking like crazy and I was really frightened. But I had to make it home as I had a fitting with a client.

Some friends from out of town whose marriage ceremony I'd performed, saw my post and came right on over. He's a mechanic and saw right away that I had only one lug nut in the right front tire, holding it on. Apparently that's a fairly common problem; tire places putting them on either too tightly or not tight enough and then having them either sheer off or loosen up and fall off.

So here I am without a car again....on Christmas, with places that I have to go for work that I'm getting paid less for than before.

I'm really not feeling Christmasy at all.
rowangolightly: (Default)
Tonight I'm feeling a heavy wave of the most dreadful sadness and I'm not sure if it's me or something I'm picking up. Or maybe part of the bowel distress I'm (oh so happily *eyeroll*) dealing with.

I feel weighed down with grief, hopelessness and gut-wrenching sadness. I have SO much do to but don't feel like doing any of it. I can't afford to take a day off; must finish this Santa suit and get stuff ready to sell at Dickens on the strand, in just a week. I'm forcing myself to keep on working, but boy, it's really hard to do.

I'm ok...just trying to document what's going on.

Date...

Nov. 18th, 2016 10:25 am
rowangolightly: (Default)
Well, I went out on a meet-and-greet date with Eric, the guy who stood me up a couple months ago.

Gods, he's young. As in, half my age, young. I just don't know. He's nice and very smart and I enjoyed my time with him. He's an introvert who talks a mile a minute, I'm sure partly out of insecurity. He's still in graduate school, with an English Lit major, interests in Philosophy and Science and is musical.

He's very much in earnest about dating an older woman...me. I'm just not sure that I want to. We're at such different points in our lives that I'm just not sure there's any frame of reference.

Not to mention that there's not any financial stability. I really *need* financial stability. He hasn't really had any sort of steady job or anything like a career...has always been in school, or at least that's what it sounds like. I can only imagine what his school loans are like, unless Mom and Dad pay for it.

So we'll see. But I'm not really very hopeful about it. I need an adult, not a kid to raise.
rowangolightly: (Default)
So, here I am; back on LJ.

I've thought about it and, well, I've been on Facebook more because I get more response there. *shrug* It's true. I need the feedback and the attention since being online is the only human contact I have many days.

I miss the days that LiveJournal was a vital, healthy, interactive, supportive community. I remember raising enough money on here to get [livejournal.com profile] apocalypticbob a new motor for her car. I also remember she and a former friend helping raise money for my move back to Kansas City after my divorce. And that was also before social fund-raising sites like GoFundMe were even a thought; I'm pretty sure that such sources were invented from such efforts on LiveJournal,

But it is what it is and here I am again, hoping to reconnect with people here.

I'll try to be better about posting. I know I can say more on here than I can on Facebook.
And I hope to see more friends that I know IRL here on LiveJournal.
rowangolightly: (Default)
As if I wasn't stressed out and depressed enough by not having enough money to pay rent yet....

Now the fun new wrinkle is that my landlady has decided to sell the house. She said she just can't keep up with it any more. She said, "and so I need some things from you" at which point I said, "Can I please call you back? I just don't think I can deal with this right now." Which means that she wants me to totally clean this place up so she can show it. And then she'll sell it and someone else will want it and I'll have to move somewhere.

This is not the news I needed right now. I don't fucking have time to clean and organize this place. To say that I'm shocked and devastated doesn't begin to cover it.

I have no fucking clue what I'm going to do.
rowangolightly: (Default)
As of right now, except for the fee they take out, I have almost enough donations to pay for the basic registration.

I sorta expected a quicker response but I'm trying not to be too discouraged.

Here's the link to it:

rowangolightly: (Default)
...my reply to PayPal over the fiasco of the missing $225 and the horrible service desk interaction I had.

Answering, "What would it take to earn a better score on the previous question?"

I have never had a problem with PayPal until this interaction but since you asked:

1) have help desk people who are not condescending, annoying and who can react as if they're not speaking straight off a script

2) explain to your help desk people that people calling in for help have legitimate situations and won't like being told that screenshots are easily manipulated, that people always lie and cheat and manipulate images to be deceptive. Trust me, saying this about my FRIEND whom I know well, made both of us very angry.

3) not allowing the sender (Sandy Ristow Koontz) to deal with this situation when she first called it in and spent over an hour on 8/31 trying unsuccessfully to deal with it is an outrage. It turned out that someone on her end had used the wrong email address EVEN THOUGH THE TWO OF US had repeated the correct email address several times to be clear. I believe that it was someone on PayPal's end that put in the wrong email address; and this could have been resolved on her end without dragging me into it over 2 weeks later, while that money was tied up, unavailable to either of us.

4) teach better communication skills to your help desk people: when the voice signal on his end would not re-connect (since I did NOTHING to my cell phone to change reception or transmission on my end) after he put me on hold two different times, forcing me to speak louder and louder to try to make him hear me, and then when it finally went through and he could hear me, telling me to, "calm down" is not at all the way to deal with anyone. I was yelling to try to be heard but by the time that happened a second time, I was also screaming out of frustration and anger. Telling someone to calm down after you've said, "hello, are you there?" about a dozen times is like throwing kerosene on a fire.

and finally and most importantly,
5) bring your help-desk operation back to the continental US because dealing with people from India is highly detrimental to your business in every way and is giving PayPal a *big* black eye. Exporting middle class jobs is NOT a good tactic about which we are reminded any time anyone has to deal with a obviously foreign operator. I shared this on my Facebook and got instant outrage from like-minded people who have nothing against foreigners but everything against the practice of exporting jobs so you can save money. You should feel utterly ashamed over this practice. It is almost enough to make me quit using PayPal altogether.

Aargh!

Aug. 7th, 2015 05:39 pm
rowangolightly: (Default)
Frustration is the name of the game, yesterday and today.

First is with my #$^#%&^ laptop which freezes up *all* the time with the "unresponsive script" crap. I SO need a new laptop!

Second is with my goddamned car which is the last piece of shit leftover from the marriage. If I had the money, I'd just dump it and get something else. I need to have it taken in to see why metal is grinding against metal, or someone to come and look at the damned thing, someone who knows what they are doing and will follow through with diagnosing it. I'm terrified that whatever-it-is that's wrong is just going to snap and I'll be in a horrible accident and kill other people. It really is that bad.

Third is the glasses thing; I tried ordering online but get stopped time and again with either stuff I don't know, like my distance between my pupils and then once I get that figured out, the glasses I want aren't available in the DP number and I can't figure out what to do about it.

Fourth is my sewing machine which occasionally just randomly goes into a decorative stitch that goes backward and then forward. I CANNOT AFFORD to not be without it and this is the one that supposedly was just repaired; the newer one needs to go in but I can't afford that either.

Can frustration be terminal? If so, I'm close. I can't take much more of all my shit not working at the same time, all of it.

EDIT: I should have fucking called the glasses site yesterday. Apparently I can't order anything from them with a difference in my PD in gradient bifocals. FUCK! Why does everything have to be so hard!
rowangolightly: (Default)
The foot is still quite painful but then, bone bruises last a freakin' long time. It IS a lot better; Star's Reiki helped a lot.

The hand is a concern, too, as the bunch of scar tissue on the heel of my right hand keeps me from using it to apply pressure to anything; it's a sharp pain whenever I do. Not sure what to do about that.

I am going to order a pair of summer shoes that hopefully will not rub or constrain the top of my right foot, without also looking like I'm wearing an old lady shoe.

And I'm fighting the baby slugs for my strawberries. That 'bowl of beer' thing does NOT work at all.

Crickets in the dating department. The mid-30's doctor just disappeared; oh well, I hadn't counted on that much either. And if David lived closer, I have no doubt we'd be dating more but he's busy, I'm busy and he lives 2 hours away. I'm not too hopeful on that one, nice as he is.

And work...lots of work.

Better...

May. 17th, 2015 10:53 pm
rowangolightly: (Default)
I wonder if barometer pressure has any bearing on my moods? Last night's storm was pretty amazing; could hardly see out the windows at one point for how hard it was raining. The power went off a couple times and well, I'm smart enough to shut down my sewing equipment when there's a thunderstorm. Yes, and unplug them, too. And this morning I looked out my bedroom window to see a huge branch that had come down and embedded itself into the ground like an arrow....a 6" in diameter arrow! But better than than down on or through my roof! We'll see if I can get it out tomorrow or if the kids will next time they mow.

I do know for a fact that burn-out is a big factor in my moods. I know I get cranky when I have to rush for a fitting to finish last-minute projects, no matter if the rush is due to my procrastination or merely a short schedule. I am getting better at charging more for a last minute job and clients seem to not mind. I know, I know, that's reasonable. But the few bad clients I have had have become a sort of composite work-PTSD sort of thing that my depression plays into. Weird but I hope that recognizing it is part of figuring out how to deal with it.

My recent clients are all paying cash which is sort of odd but ok. And I am keeping good records on the job sheet when they pay so that I know how much they've paid and which job the cash belongs with before I deposit it into the business account.

This morning was odd but ended up alright. The power was out downtown where Central Pres is located, around Armour Blvd and Campbell, near Paseo and 31st Street. And Leslie was scheduled to out of town so Michael was drafted to come and play for the service and direct the choir. But Gabi came in and just took over, was REALLY bossy and pushy and annoying everyone, to the point that I said to him, "Well, what do you want to do, since you know, Leslie left YOU in charge." He's really mild mannered and actually very much of a pushover but she was totally out of line. She backed down a bit when I said that, and a bit later commented, "Well, I know you all think I'm bossy but I just want to get things done." I just looked at her and didn't say anything. But she did calm down a bit. There were very few people there for choir and Josh was VERY late, I insisted that we call him but my phone wasn't letting me call out so Gabi did it. We rehearsed in the sanctuary because it was the brightest room, due to the big stained glass windows so we eventually got the music shaped up and Gaby shushed up from wanting to run it "one last time" because we were OUT of time and he needed to start the prelude. Gods, that woman drives me nuts! But I refused to let her get to me after I realized that I wasn't the only one she was bothering. The service was very nice if very sketchily attended. Michael had brought his mother (who is very Baptist but nice) and it was good to meet her. She was a little unsure being in a totally new place but is the sort to chat people up. So afterward I chatted with her and so did others and she seemed to enjoy being there.

Heidi's sermon was amazingly dead on with what I needed to hear, but of course, it wasn't recorded because of the power outage. I may ask her if she'd give me the text or outline, betting she would. Basically, "You are the only one of you that there is. The only gift you can give to the world is you; you are the only one with that particular, unique soul who can give that gift." While it isn't at all new information, it was what I needed to hear, along with her other words about being Authentic. Gods know, I am that; what you see is what you get. And not everybody likes that but that's ok, too. Others' approval isn't necessary and doesn't stop from being what I have to give, and knowing it is valuable.

I had to rush home to finish getting ready for the fitting this afternoon but it went really well. Such great clients! All three gals were here and things fit and the plans I had for how to decorate the dresses were highly approved of. Now I have the rest of this week to do the two dresses and then the third after that. They know that not all of the trimming will happen before this weekend but at least they'll be wearable.

After they left, I went grocery shopping and on the way, got myself some Church's chicken to give myself a little treat. Then I did some research and ordered grosgrain ribbon that I should have ordered last week but didn't. Fabulous prices for ribbon from a whole new source and they're having a sale! Here's the link: https://ribbonandbowsohmy.com/index.php?module=Catalog&action=ViewCatalog&cat=111 I ordered one of their color cards; I'm such a sucker for beautiful colors and they have 108 colors of grosgrain in stock!

Now to order coutil for corsets and I should be set for awhile.

On OKCupid, there's a 38 year old doctor who says he's interested in dating me, so we'll see. And the local guy who remembers me from an old Theatre in the Park who I DO NOT remember at all, IMd me on Facebook and said, "I think you should give up in OkCupid and ask me out." Huh. So I said, "I'm not giving up on OKC yet but since you suggested it, how about coffee sometime to get reacquainted?" So we'll see what happens with that.

And gods, I'm TIRED! And I need to go ice my foot; I haven't done that as much as I should lately and it's telling me so. The cut on my right hand still has a big hard lump where the cut was; not sure what to do about that as I know it's still healing underneath the surface of the skin. It still hurts if I put any pressure on it or stretch the fingers, not badly, but enough for me to not really have full use of that hand.

Tomorrow is NOT a day off but if I don't procrastinate, I should be able to finish both of these costumes fairly easily.

I like ending the day on a better note.
rowangolightly: (Default)
I am SO pissed off right now! This is the second time I have had a major contract taken away from me and the time has come to have it out.

There's a new king at KCRF for this fall. The last guy, another friend, did a wonderful job but he's decided not to come back. I think perhaps that he wasn't quite the right fit. Frankly, he hadn't drunk the kool-aid that the Entertainment Director passes out. This is a mature adult who does his job and does it well but won't bow down to the PTB. Having observed how this has worked for the last decade or so, I really do think this is how it works. His costume was made by another friend; a complete professional who met the deadlines and did a fabulous job. It was gorgeous. Note, this will become a factor in my story later; that the last king's costume was made by a non-kool-aid-drinking, non-cast costumer of the current administration.

The guy who is now King is a really nice guy, he'll do a great job. I've worked with I made his costume last year and he told me, straight out, that he really wanted to be King and was disappointed that he hadn't it through the last casting call. The mayor's costume that I made him was to have a great coat added later to have the costume be "King-worthy", as he put it.

So I pretty much expected this guy to ping me and say, "hey, we need to get started as I'm King now." It would make things sorta tight, schedule-wise, but I could deal with it. And frankly, the money would really come in handy, not to mention the notch in my belt of of making another monarch's costume. But I didn't hear from him at all, which made me start to wonder.

As I'm a fan of direct communication, I decided to ping him on FB, which is how we often communicate. I said, "Hey, congrats! Wanted to tell you how happy I am for you. Do you know what you're doing costume-wise yet? Just trying to organize my Spring schedule. If you want to discuss designs, I'd love to work with you and my schedule is fairly free for the next month or so, if you're wanting to get started right away. If you've made other plans, that's perfectly ok."

I heard back from him fairly quickly:
"Jim already had it setup with Annie for my costume this year. However, Riah might need you. She's hoping to know more after next weekend.
She's going to be Romani, but she's looking to have a leader-type costume made."

Fuming, I sent back:
"I will be happy to talk with Riah about her costume. Counting to 10 here. I obviously need to talk seriously with Jim. I have a problem with him assigning major costuming to someone who can't meet her deadlines and who is allowed to do so and who does sub-standard work. However, this is not *your* problem, sorry to take it out on you. It is mine and I will deal with it. But this makes me very unhappy that he has made a decision like this. This is the second time he has interfered with my income in a major way."

So perhaps I spoke out of line here, as I am wont to do from time to time. And it's all probably going to hit the fan because he and his whole family have drunk the Kool-aid. But I am REALLY PISSED OFF!

This is the same costumer to whom Jim gave about 8 court costumes to do last year, and whose sewing machine broke and who was SO late on deadlines that her clients had to wear old costumes for the HARD DEADLINE of the July 4th parade, when everyone else HAD to have their costumes done, or else risk being fired. This is the same costumer who puts out shoddy looking, costume-rental quality costumes; who works a FULL TIME regular job and does costuming on the side. But she's drunk the Kool-aid and is the costumer that Jim goes to first.

I am LIVID! I said the last time that Jim determined that "only Annie could do Royalty costumes" that I would go toe-to-toe with Jim over this. He has NO CALL to just assign costumes to one person, who is *not* staff, who is not a professional and who does not have the chops to handle doing good royal costumes. She probably doesn't charge enough but it's not as though she depends on costuming for her income. OH, heads are going to roll over this. One of them could me mine, but that this point, I'm not sure I even care.

*sigh*

Jan. 22nd, 2015 09:55 pm
rowangolightly: (Default)
Welp, back to basics here for the forseeable future.

My paid account has run out and I just don't have the extra $19.95 right now.

Oh well.
rowangolightly: (Rowan!)
Let it not be said that I don't have great friends, in fact, I have the bestest friends in the whole Universe..

Sunday afternoon at GAIA, after a lovely Yule ritual, we had our usual High Holiday pot-luck. I'd fixed cheesy potatoes and ham with mushrooms and onions and it went like the proverbial hotcakes; I should have fixed more but I wasn't sure how much the potatoes would cook down.

We were all sitting around the tables and various friends were passing around boxes of goodies for Yule (and I was internally working on not feeling guilty over not having anything to pass around.) I'd sat at the table with Matt Shrivner and his cute but shy wife, Amy. (Matt is a new member and an opera singer, a geek and an absolute hoot and he and I will be starting the new Excellence In Ritual class sometime this year.) Kitty D. also came and sat with us, saying, "It's a whole table of singers!" Then David and Kimberly came and sit to my left, having joined us a bit late due to putting away the stuff used in the ritual. David, I think it was, put down an envelope next to my plate. I thanked him and continued to eat but soon he tapped it and said, "why don't you open it?"

So I did; it was a lovely Christmas card with a bunch of writing. It said this,

"Dear Susi,
The repair bill on your Bernina has been paid off by a roving gang of houligans people who love you. Just go down and pick her up from the shop! Happy Holidays from..."
And then followed a list of about 38 people, not all of whom probably want to be list publicly.

Then Neb explained that the initial intention to pay off the machine repair bill had been more than anticipated, so they turned to friends on Facebook to help make it up. But after Games Night on Friday, the amount collected had turned into more money while they were at dinner. I started leaking tears like crazy and looked over to see others wiping their eyes as well. David said, "Yep, pretty much the whole room knows about it" and I looked around to see everybody looking at me and grinning. All I could say was, "Wow!" and David said it wasn't too often that he'd seen me made speechless. That's about right. Kimberly said that the rest of the amount would be PayPal'd to me, as it was yesterday.

The remainder was $150 which is SO greatly appreciated! It may be just about enough to get an eye exam, since Costco does glasses and contact lens exams separately. I'll go right after Christmas and see if I can get an appointment. It won't be enough to get both exams and glasses but it's a start. I'm still going to have to do a GoFundMe to get it accomplished, I think. But this was SO very kind and considerate and showed me that I'm loved in a way that I can't deny.

That really made my whole day; best Yule I can remember in a long time.

There's more on my mind but I wanted to at least make a happy post for once.

Gah!

Nov. 19th, 2014 12:49 pm
rowangolightly: (Rowan!)
Stress stress stress stress

November often sucks; this one is no different although last year was. Last year I had the wonderful job of the Ecclesiastical robes that Central Pres hired me to make for Heidi Peterson. That *totally* made my November and December last year.

This year, not so much. Everyone is thinking about the holidays, and not about getting stuff sewn. I'd hoped to avoid this stress this year, but no. Everybody's "after Thanksgiving, is that ok?" And what am I supposed to say, "NO, interrupt your comfy Thanksgiving and holiday and vacation plans, please." That'd go over like a ton of bricks.

But other than this one cloak I'll deliver on Monday, I have NO other jobs paying off during November. I have $200 or so in the bank toward rent and it's after the 15th. I'm trying unsuccessfully not to freak the fuck out. I have no money to get holiday groceries nor the mood to make them to eat by myself.

I hate November. I hate being single and having no family, no safety-net and scared about my financial security all the time. I fucking hate it. And now Thanksgiving plans have fallen through so I either stay at home alone or I finagle my way into someone else's celebration which I also fucking hate. Being a 5th wheel for a holiday dinner is a major depression trigger for me but staying home alone is worse.

EDIT: I bit the bullet and accepted an invitation. We'll see. It's at a Chorus friends home but I swear if the dining table conversation goes to conservative politics, I will leave.

I have no idea what Chip's holiday plans are but I hope to see him on Saturday so we'll see.
rowangolightly: (Rowan!)
Ok, after my whine and cheez party last night, today was a new day.

The fitting I did at 12:30 once the clients got into town was a huge success; with the advance warning of "oh hey, way too thin of fabric" there was no false expectation so when I helped him into it, his first reaction was utter delight. He's a big guy and held out his arms at full length with sleeves that hit his knuckles, perhaps a first for him that sleeves were more than long enough. I had to add a pleat at the back so the neck/collar would be the right circumference but it really looked nice on him. We were all groggy and exhausted but in good and amicable spirits. His reaction to the weight problem was, "Hey, I'll wear long johns" so it was all good. Sure I wish it was heavier but it looks really good. We concurred that using a binding rather than piping was the way to finish it off, especially since that meant that I wouldn't have to rip out the basting plus binding costs a lot less than piping, as in the difference between $8.48 and 66.75. I will return the piping since I'd bought the whole bolt of it yesterday.

That meant I came home in a much better mood than earlier in the evening. I always get grumpy in the "holy shit, is it ever going to work" phase of a project but as always, venting about it and getting it out of my head and into writing really does help.

So I slept well and got up early enough to set my hair, have a quick breakfast and get to the chapel for the wedding rehearsal. I met the owner/coordinator and was initially most impressed. The facility was lovely and clean and well organized and the nice young gal had all the details down on the clipboard she was carrying around, was personable and pleasant and so things got underway. I think it's a family business, with her as the coordinator and her husband as DJ and sound guy but I didn't catch their names. I told them that I had 45 minutes and so we moved right along. They had a couple questions for me as well and it was quickly apparent that they were also impressed with my efficiency and professionalism; so a great contact was made and I was able to leave to go to Central Pres with plenty of time.

Rehearsal at Central Pres with the bell choir went well; why more people don't come to church there is beyond me as the preaching is wonderful, the folk are friendly and the music is absolutely top notch. Gabi and I are doing a duet with just hand bell accompaniment and it sounds really nifty. (And I'm so pleased that I *can* tell a difference in my voice now that I'm working with Lamar; it's richer and more assured and I'm not clinching at the higher notes. Now I need to work on proper breathing 'cause I'm just running out too soon. But Lamar says to be patient with myself, that I'm doing really well. I'm just not used to such kind and encouraging vocal instruction that is so productive; it's just amazing.)

That done, I ran home and changed and made it back to Rhapsody right on time. Everything went well; what I'd chosen to wear went perfectly with their colors and everyone was where they needed to be. I was standing there waiting and felt arms coming around my shoulders and realized that it was my dear friend, Yolonda Lee, the egg lady, so I turned and gave her a HUGE hug. Her hubby, Joe, was out there so I ran for a hug from him; he's one of my absolutely favorite people. And then Chris McCauley was the photographer so it really was old home, or rather, old faire event. The whole ceremony went like clockwork, including little flowergirl (groom's cute little girl) doing the whole job like a pro and just adorable. I spoke well and clearly and didn't drop the rings and got them married off in top form. I'd intended to take off pretty quickly because I needed to work on the cloak but with a whole table full of fun and congenial folk who wanted me around, I decided to just relax and enjoy myself for awhile. And the food was really, really tasty and well presented; catered by HyVee and was very impressed indeed.

So I said my good-byes, hugged a bunch of folk and left about 5:30, headed to Joann's to get the seam binding and home to work quickly on the cloak. They called about 7:30 and I told them to come on ahead; I finished JUST as they pulled into the driveway. We tried it on him and he looked fabulous. He was beaming and it's just so much fun to see that. I tallied up the total and Erin wrote out the check and they headed to the party. I decided I was just too tired to go and that was a good decision.

The Chip stuff will just work itself out. I have got to remember that being a Dad is his top priority and that I wouldn't want it any other way. At least I *have* someone nice to think about, no matter what happens.

And as for the holidays, I just might host a Thanksgiving here at my house. That might be an incentive to finally get curtains up and do a thorough cleaning. It bears some thought.

Now I must think of what I'm going to take to the pot luck tomorrow and get some sleep.

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Susi Matthews

February 2017

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