Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

No decorations, no costume. First time in 20 years. And it's ok.

I'm going to drive around and look at other people's decorations. Jim and I were always so invloved in our own displays that we never got to go around and see what other people do. I'm going to check out the new neighborhood and see if there's any action and then I'll go to Kevin and Mary's and hang with them and their friends. And when it's over I'll get in the car and come home. Simple.

When we decorated we'd have to tear everything down and pack up before we came home. At that time of night after spending the whole day setting everything up we'd be so dog dead tired we could barely move. How nice it will be to just get in the car and go.

The girls put some very cool costumes together. I'll post photos tomorrow. Lindsay went as a German beer maid, complete with beer mugs. She used Paige's black bodice with a green skirt and red, poofy petticoat. She's majorly boobilicious. I found eight plastic beer mugs at the dollar store. I painted the inside with clear acrylic that was tinted yellow to look like beer. Then I sprayed in some foam insulation and painted it white to look like beer foam. I used zip ties to clamp them together, two bunches of four glasses. The whole thing put together looks pretty cool.

Paige's costume is hard to name. It all started with the shoes. She found these awesomely bitchy, black and white spectator pumps. One black stocking, one white. White miniskirt, red lace bustier, black blazer. She put a white ribbon around the crown of Jim's enormous stovepipe hat. Gabe was dressed to match.

Yep. For me, this year just was not a happenin' thing. I'll have a nice display next year at the new house. Not the big, ka-blammo displays we used to do but something special and small. And I'm pretty sure the weekend before we'll have a party.

See you next year.

Monday, October 29, 2007

There's no way to make it ok

Dede and David are going to get an angry phone call from Dad.

He called a while ago. He wanted to cook something but he couldn't figure out how. I went over there to see what he was trying to do. He had some sausages in a bowl. He had turned the oven on but thankfully he'd turned the temperature knobs all the way down. I turned them off. His microwave is pretty messed up. The latch that opens it is broken. I didn't want him trying to cook it on the stove top so I told him I'd take them home and cook them at my house. He said he wanted to know how so he followed me home.

As soon as we got here he started asking me all kinds of questions about the farm sale and the move. It always happens this way. He starts asking questions, I try to answer them as best I can and he gets angry because he says nobody has told him anything. I'm sure all of this has been explained to him and he's gotten copies of all the papers (well, most of them) but he forgets and he loses any piece of paper you give him. No matter how many times I explained everything he wouldn't accept it. He wants to stop the sale. I told him it's too late. He wants to meet with the buyer and tell him what he wants done with the land. I told him that when the time comes the buyer will take possession and it's up to him to decide what he's going to do with the land, just like when Dad bought the property from the previous owner. We went round and round. He wants to fire his doctors so he can have some other doctor tell him he's perfectly fine. He said he can't believe the way his own family is treating him.

While he was sitting there ranting I just felt so sad for him. Throughout his whole life he was pretty successful. He owned several businesses. He bought this place when he was in his mid-forties. He really was a very smart man and he knew it. So I can see how it's impossible for him to believe his mind doesn't work the way it used to. He thinks he's doing really well and he can't understand why it's all been taken out of his hands. And when you explain it to him he either doesn't accept it or he forgets what you just said to him two minutes ago.

He was angry but it wasn't directed at me. He took his sausages and went home. He'll either call Dede and David or he'll forget about it and eat his dinner. I'll go over later for evening meds.

Alzheimer's is some nasty shit.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Packing, packing, packing!

Whee! Filling boxes with wreckless abandon! Wheeeee!

My back still hurts like a hurting thing but I can putter around and pack without bothering it too much. Yesterday I bought a big computer desk at Goodwill for $30. It'll be good to get rid of the door table we've been using. I took it straight to storage. Paige and Gabe met me there and helped me move it in. Man, it's heavy!

Today I'm going to work on the records. I finally got the right kind of boxes for them so I can box them up as I go along. I think I'll be able to finish that project today.

Boy, I wish I could get into the new house early so I could do stuff like measure the rooms for carpet and figure out paint colors. I'm getting more excited about the move. That little glow of happiness is getting brighter. But to really make it fly I'll need to get that perfect job that's waiting for me out there somewhere. I'll tackle that project after the first of the year.

Ok, enough goofing off. Go pack.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It ain't the ribs.

Dad has a compression fracture on one of his vertebra. It's not serious and will heal with time. So, there ya go.

We stopped at the box store on the way back. I should be set for a while. I gots lots.

Dean's right. Moving around does help my back feel better.

Ow, ow, ow! Damn, damn damn!

I pulled my back yesterday. I did the classic no-no. I picked up a heavy box and then twisted my torso. I felt it go "ping". Ten minutes later it hurt like hell. Oh well, at least I got one truckload off to Goodwill.

But now I'm out of commission. I can barely walk, let alone pack anything. Last night was interesting. I had to plan ahead for any bathroom visits. I dreamed I sprained my ankles. I started calling out for ice and tried to get up. When I couldn't I called out for Jim. That woke me up. I struggled up and sat there for a while. That was kind of a stunner. Jim wasn't there to help me.

Today I'm taking Dad to the doctor. His ribs still hurt from his big fall. He said the pain is better but it seems to be more in the front now. I can drive and walk ok, just a little slow. I can handle taking him to the doctor. Maybe I'll swing by the packaging store and get some big boxes.

Man, things are just falling apart around here. We have one functioning toilet, the back fence blew down and the septic blew up the other day. C'mon, house, hold it together. Just a few more weeks.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


For the last few weeks I haven't been able to find my good glasses. You know, the prescription glasses I got at Costco? The ones that cost me a hundred bucks? DAD HAS THEM!!!!

I went over there just now to do evening meds. Laurie was there. She's one of the church ladies. She and Dad were watching a ball game. She had taken him to the grocery store. We all brought the groceries in from her car. Hoo boy. I appreciate her taking him but she doesn't know that there are certain things he can't handle cooking. Like eggs. Oh well.

After I gave him his pills we went back into the tv room and chatted a little. I saw my glasses sitting on his table. I picked them up and said, "Dad, I think these are my glasses." He immediately jumped into evil mode and raised his voice. "Those are MINE! I've had them for years!" I quickly put them down and said ok. I really didn't want to get into a fight in front of Laurie. Hopefully they'll still be there in the morning. Crap. They were filthy and the frame was a little bent. I didn't have hold of them long enough to see if they were scratched. I'm guessing yes.

So, I guess I'll need to get new glasses. I think I'll wait until after the move.


Today my job at Mickeys was demonstrating how to make Halloween party favors. Not party favors in general, just these little tins with clear lids that you can decorate for whichever holiday or party theme you want and fill with candy. It took me about 15 minutes to make five of them. So, what am I going to do, decorate the whole flipping box of tins for 2 3/4 hours?

I helped customers a lot. At one point I was called away from my table for a long time. When I got back this woman was sitting there just happily using the glue gun decorating a tin for her little boy. WTF??? Oh sure, if you see an unmanned demo table with supplies and a hot glue gun then of COURSE it's an open invitation to just have a seat and start crafting! When I explained to her that this was just a demo and not a class she was very apologetic. I was nice about it and even let her kid keep the tin and candy (probably got his snotty hands all over it anyway). But jeez! That was pretty stupid.

Yesterday I was supposed to demo the Versatool, which is kind of like a wood burning tool but with many more uses. I was supposed to carve one of the fake pumpkins with it. But the pumpkins are all coated with this orange paint that doesn't work at all well with the Versatool. The paint just gums up the hot point and creates toxic fumes. That demo sucked.

While I was doing that a woman came in and asked about my skeleton class. I said, "Sure!" and immediately put the burnt pumpkin away. I gathered up some supplies and set up class. Only we didn't have the right diameter of wire and NO paper twist, which is the main component of the Paper Twist Skeleton. I had to give her my supply of wire and paper twist. It was kind of embarrassing trying to pull it all together. She was very nice about it.

Hey, Odiens. She knows you guys. She's a Bojo (sp?)

We had a nice time and she went home with a good looking little skeleton. Then today the girl who is supposed to keep the paper twist stocked told me that they're discontinuing it! So much for my class. I cancelled what was left on the schedule and took down all the little skeletons that I had scattered around the store. It's actually a relief.

So, that does it for my Mickey's schedule. I'll still do demos here and there but I'm not going to commit to any classes until after the first of the year.

Kyle's here this weekend. He brought the kitties. It's nice to see them.


Friday, October 19, 2007

It's a house!

They accepted the offer! If things go as planned I'm moving to Laredo road on December 12th! Yeeee haw!

Three bedrooms, two baths, living room with fireplace, family room, office, sun room (art studio), remodeled kitchen, garage and great yards in a very good older neighborhood.

I can hardly believe it!

Go see it.

No, it is not actually inside the cemetery. It's up against a hill and the cemetery is on the other side.

I'll post more photos when I can get them. Probably not until moving day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Making the offer

Today Dede and I went to Sherri's so Dede could sign the papers for the offer on the house. Sherri's been in contact with the owner's niece, who is also their realtor. She said they're anxious to get the deal done. Sherri thinks they'll accept the offer. Jeez, if they do we'll be getting a great deal on that house.

Escrow is supposed to close on December 12th. A wednesday! We'll have one day to move! Plus I want to get new carpet before we move in! Oh, dear.

I've been putting boxes into the storage unit. Now I'm thinking I need to get the furniture in there as well. Then if all goes according to plan I can move anything else into the garage while work is being done on the house. Man! Only one day to get everything out of here!

My emotions are all over the place. I'm happy that my job as main caregiver will soon be over. I'm happy I'm getting a house. But the reason all this is happening is my father is losing his mind. And if Jim was still alive I never would have asked for the house. I can't let go and be completely happy about this move. I'm working on it.

I really think this is going to be a fun house to play with. It's 1700 square feet, the biggest house I've lived in since leaving home. Man, for 31 years I've been living in houses that were too small. I think this one will work just fine. There are some things I want to do right away like replace the carpet and get the wallpaper down, but most of it I can live with for a while.

The yards are really nice. Lots of Kohl/Dudley potential there. Our friends, Michael and Teri, have the most adorable yard in the world. The last time I was there I took lots of pictures. Loads of inspiration there. I probably wouldn't do much in the front yard because it's established and it looks pretty good. The back yard is already pretty nice but it will be fun to rip out some of the old, spent landscaping and freshen the whole thing up with plants and art. I'm excited about that. And a patio. Gotta make a patio.

Drew brought Dad home this evening. We talked a little while about the trip. Drew looked pretty beat. I expected Dad to call and yell at me for cleaning out his closets. Dede did most of that work but I helped some. We got rid of a lot of stuff today. He never called. Maybe he was just too tired. I'm sure I'll hear about it tomorrow.

Wow. This is a pretty weird time. I think by February things should settle down.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday already!

I'm waiting around for the dumpster guy to get here. One got picked up already, I'm just waiting for the other one to go. Then I'll go to Ramona to paint the big fake tree they made. The tree that looks like an alien. Or a dolphin. Or a giant dildo with tyrannosaurus rex arms sticking out around the top. Giant French tickler? So, I gotta paint it to look like a dead tree. By tonight. It's going to be used for the Band Extravaganza performance.

I also have to go by Mickey's to see if anyone has signed up for tonight's class. I hope no one did. I have too much to do. This week got away from me.

October is half over and I haven't put up a single Halloween decoration.

I need coffee.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

So far, a pretty interesting weekend.

Last night I went to Ken and Sherri's for an evening of good cheer. Did some drinking. Played some music. Laughed a lot. Man, I so appreciate my relationship with them. I feel so loved when I'm with them. Ken and I have a whole new bond. We understand each other's pain. Our musical relationship has changed. (Heh! Musical Relationship would be a good name for a band.) I always used to sing with Ken while he and Jim played. Well, now Jim's gone and I've learned to play the ukulele. Ken and I now play and sing together and it's reeeeally fun.

(I just went away for about 20 minutes)

Hoo boy. Just now I got blasted by a pretty big wave of grief. It was a very intense feeling of loss that just kind of snuck up on me. Needed to happen, I guess.

This morning we started filling up a dumpster. Dede and David, Stacey and Scotty, Hector and one of his guys and me. Muddy work! Boy, I sure do appreciate and admire my sibs. We were working hard and getting dirty and having just a jolly old time. Ever since this whole Alzheimer's thing began we've worked together as a team. Everyone always seemed to be on the same page. I think this experience has brought out the best in all of us.

(Ok, more crying)

At around noon I went to Mickey's. No one signed up for the class so I demoed (demo-ed?) for a couple of hours. Not much happened there. Another bad customer service incident happened. One of the floor associates watched me make a skeleton. She was on her break. A customer came up and said she'd been looking for her because she needed help with something. The sales associate looked at her and sneeringly said, "I'm on my lunch." After I picked my jaw up off the floor I asked the customer what she needed. She asked me some questions about paint and I told her what she should use and where she could find it. The sales trog stood there and interjected inane bullshit while the customer and I chatted and just plain ignored her. Puh!

After that I came home and hung out for a while. Then Dede, David and I met Sherri at the (hopefully) new house. Sherri had arranged for a showing. Grandma and Grandpa were there again and as soon as we walked through the door they treated the whole thing like it was a friendly visit. No, I don't want to visit, I want to see the house. Dede and Sherri were just brilliant. They sat in the kitchen and talked with the owners while I showed David around the house. Then on the way out to the yard I snagged Dede and gave her the tour. We were all able to get a good look at the house and keep Grandma and Grandpa occupied.

David and Dede both really like the house. Afterward we went back to Sherri's and went over the paperwork. There are a couple bits of information that we need before we can make an offer but that should all come together next week. Everyone's trying not to get emotionally nvolved but dang, we all want this house!

Then I came home to get ready to go to the Thrilling Adventure & Supernatural Suspense Hour show. I drove to Hollywood and met Lindsay and Kyle at the M Bar. Arica and Chris also came. Had a good dinner and saw a fun show. Not as good as last time but still pretty funny. And there were some brilliant moments.

And now I'm home. Tomorrow we fill another dumpster.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hoo ha!

I rented a storage unit. It actually gave me a nice little jolt to do that. Makin' it real. The move is a-happenin'. I've already moved in the first truckload. Gonna do another one this afternoon.

Today Sherri is writing up an offer for the second house I'm trying for. It's quite a bit lower than what they're asking but we figure it's worth a try. They can always counter. This house is the mirror image of the other one. They've enclosed the patio to make a big family room and a small whatever room. The office has been turned into a dining room and the kitchen has been opened up. I really like the kitchen. I don't like the countertops but I could live with them for a while. The whole house has lots of Grandma wallpaper to deal with. It's 1700 sf. Just about the perfect size. Nice back yard, HUGE orange tree.

This would be a fun house to play with. The basics are all good. Lots of 1950's style, which I love. It's got great windows. I'd turn the dining room back into an office/music studio. The whatever room would be perfect as an art studio. Loads of light. The tv would be in the family room which would leave the living room tv free. I'd like that. The tile in the main bathroom is pink with burgundy trim. I can't decorate around that! Rip it out!

Ok. Stop doing this and go pack.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oops, I did it again

Yesterday we were supposed to have a pumpkin class for adults but it turned into another free-for-all for little kids. The Martha Stewart kit got put on the high shelf in the classroom and we brought out the paint, chenille stems, puff balls and CRAP for kid's pumpkins. I was a little smarter this time. When I saw that people were looking at the more elaborate pumpkins I told them they'd have to purchase more supplies. They all meekly said, "Ok" and followed me around the store while I loaded them up. I'd say this time the kids were better behaved and some of the parents were more pushy. We were supposed to do pumpkins from 1 to 3 but the last person was there until 4:30. The manager was getting all pissy about how much time it was taking. I guess he somehow missed the twenty kids sitting around the table with wet pumpkins and wet glue and only two instructors to handle everything. I guess he just didn't see all that SHIT happening right before his eyes.

When I'm doing demos I don't wear the red Mickey's apron. So when I walk around the store I look like any other customer. If I see someone with a lost look I ask them if they need help and we go from there. Well! When I was doing the pumpkin thing was was wearing the red apron. It's like a big, shining beacon that says DEMAND THINGS OF ME. Actually, the customers were very nice, just needy and there were a lot of them. If I ever strayed from the pumpkin table to help someone get their supplies or to unlock the bathroom I'd end up helping four or five people at once. I LIKED that. I'd love to just hang out on the sales floor and be that person who zooms around helping many people at once. Really, they should just let me do that. They NEED me to do that. But they don't have the budget for that. That's why the manager was getting pissy about the time. They budget this much payroll for associates and this much for instructors and that's it, no matter what is actually happening IN the store.

And that's that wonderful corporate bullshit I love so much. Is it any surprise that they're based in Texas?

Last night I walked the Rube with Jeff. Good walk, good talk. This morning my ankles HURT. Being on my feet all day and then going for a long walk has made them grouchy. Suck it up, ankles!

Today, packing!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What I did today...

...I hope I never do again. It was three hours of hell. HELL, I tell you!

First I need to set a new policy for talking about work here. I'm not going to mention the store by name because they're touchy about employees saying bad things about the store in public and this is a public forum. On her blog Virginia talked about an auto parts store where she got some lousy service. Some guy contacted her on her blog and said his job is to scan the internet for any mention of this store's name. Since my store has a policy forbidding employees to publicly dis the chain I think it's possible that they too have an internet scanner dude. So, from now on I'm calling this place "Mickey's"

Today at Mickey's it was our job to help a shitload of whiny children paint fake pumpkins. It was freakin' nuts! At first we had everyone sit at tables out on the sales floor but that scene was quickly overwhelmed. So, we moved half of them into the classroom. Deborah, the woman who usually handles the kid stuff, took the group on the sales floor and I took the classroom group. We were running back and forth with paints, brushes, chenille stems, glitter, fun foam, wiggly eyes and whatever ELSE the little darlings wanted to slap on their pumpkins. I'd say about half of the kids were very good. Half of them were merely bratty and three of them were champion whiners (with volume). Those three were in the classroom. Oh my god.

Deborah had brought her two kids. The boy is about 14 and the girl is maybe 10. The boy was a huge, sulking, reeking complainer. The girl just complained. Almost every time I needed to move somewhere in the room it seemed I had to squeeze my way past B.O. boy who acted like it was a major inconvenience that I even existed.

Out in front was a display of some elaborately decorated pumpkins which were, I guess, supposed to serve as inspiration. Well, these kids wanted to do their pumpkins EXACTLY like the display pumpkins. That would have involved their parents purchasing a lot of extra materials and several hours of gluing and painting. I don't know how many times we had to tell them no, you can't do that one. Kind of unfair, really.

I spent a lot of time manning the glue gun. It's a cordless glue gun that sits on a base to heat up. I was running around with it so much that it kept cooling off and I'd have to set it back on the base and wait for it to heat up again. But people kept wanting to use it so they'd just grab it and take off. It was really hard to keep it heated.

Some of the kids applied so much paint to their pumpkins that it took forever to dry. So they had to stop working on them. So they got bored. And started whining. Parents were sitting around the tables fanning their kid's pumpkins.

When Lindsay and Paige were in elementary school I'd go to their classes and do arts and crafts with the kids. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because I could say to a surly kid, "I don't have to let you do this. If you don't pay attention or if you complain you can go back to your desk." That always had the desired affect. But there's no way I could have told any of these children that today. I'm always kind of shocked when I see parents putting up with that kind of behavior from their kids. They try to appease them which only makes it worse. There were times today when I wanted to get into a kid's face and yell SHUT UP!!!

For this I missed uke group.

I'm doing the same thing tomorrow, only with adults. But you KNOW some of them are going to bring their kids.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Jesu H. Christo!

The sooner we get the hell out of here the better!

I was sitting here computering and I heard an alarm go off. It was hard to figure out where it was coming from. It almost sounded like it was coming from down the street. I went into the house but it wasn't ours. Then I headed next door. Bingo.

I could smell smoke as I approached Dad's back door. He was trying to make a phone call. I went in and opened his oven. He was heating up a bowl of food on the top rack using the broiler. I turned it off and then looked for the alarm. I didn't remember that Jim had installed one in the kitchen. I just remembered there was one in the hallway. Oh, man! Those alarms are omnipresent! You really can't tell where the sound is coming from. I finally found it on the wall above the phone. I had a hard time getting it off the wall and ended up knocking it off and sending the batteries flying. Cripes!

Dad kept trying to help. I had to keep telling him to stay away from the oven. He actually almost reached in to touch the heating element! He was trying to tell me what had happened and couldn't find the right word so he reached for the still-glowing element. Of course he acts like it's no big deal. I told him he shouldn't be using the oven. I just remembered, I should check his lower oven. Once we found cans of Coke stored in there.

His alarm is supposed to be connected to ours but it didn't go off this time. I'd better check our batteries.

When I went to his house his car lights were on. Talk about surreal. The car lights are on, there's an alarm screaming and I smell smoke. Cue the Psycho violins. Anyway, I don't know what's going on with the car. He said that Drew had been working on it. Maybe he's trying to run the battery down so Dad can't drive it. Now that the alarm was taken care of Dad turned his attention to the car.

I had had some lasagna for dinner so I came home and put some in a bowl for Dad. When I took it back over I took him into the bathroom for evening meds. I tried to get him to eat but he wanted to mess with the car. He called just now asking if I had keys. I lied and told him I didn't.

(A bit later. I just had a wonderful, long conversation with Michele.)

Dad called again and said he's giving up on the car. I guess he talked to Drew. Whew! I'm so glad we'll be finished with this soon. I've been getting more and more concerned about Dad living on his own. I think it's going to end at just the right time. He seems to be more willing to go along with the move, even though he gripes about being kept out of the loop. He'll have the right kind of care in the right kind of place. He'll eat better and he'll have more social interaction.

And, yes, it'll be better for me. We've been here for four and a half years. I never thought I'd be doing this! When we moved back here our plan was so different. I think we got Dad's AD diagnosis about 6 months after we got here. Everything changed then. We became caregivers. We were dealing with depression (mine and Jim's). We started a business that never went anywhere, partly because of Dad's situation. We just got so bogged down. Then things started to get better for a couple months. Then we lost Jim. This has been the weirdest fuckin' year of my life! The girls and I have been dealing with our loss and working on building this new life all while living next door to Dad, who has been losing his mind at an accelerated rate.

Another huge life change is looming. I hope this is it for a while. I'd like to cruise for a few years, ok?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The plan as I understand it.

And I could be wrong.

Due to a serendipitous error we will not be waiting around here for another tree season. We all feel like things were getting dragged out anyway and Dad seems to be ready (sort of) to move so we're moving up the escrow date to the middle of December. Things have been set into high gear big time.

The house in the Odien's old neighborhood is pending sale. So, it's fairly certain that we won't be able to get it. But you never know. It's a disappointment because it's a wonderful house and the price was as good as it gets in that neighborhood. Sherri and I looked at a lot of houses and that one was by far the best. We'll know in a couple weeks if that sale is going to go through. In the meantime we'll keep looking.

I'm going to rent a storage unit and start filling it with our stuff. That way if I don't find a house in time there won't be a big panic about moving. I'm also going to let my boss at Michael's know what's going on. I'm going to have too much going on here to put much time and energy into an iffy job.

We're gioing to continue with the cleaning. Next weekend I'm going to rent two huge dumpsters. Drew and Mindy are taking Dad to Texas so we'll be free to throw things away with wreckless abandon. I have to finish going through the records. Andy's friend never got back to me. I guess I'll call him and see if he's still interested in taking some of them.

The next few weeks are going to be awesomely crazy and filled with LOTS of hard work. I'll be a packing fool. Today I took a look inside the storage trailer and got overwhelmed. I couldn't make a decision about anything. I closed it up and started packing up garage stuff. I think I'll feel better once I'm actually getting stuff out of here and into a storage unit. There's so much to do everywhere I look that it's easy to get stuck.

It's hard to believe it's actually going to happen. We're leaving the farm. Everything that's here will be gone. It's time to let go. Everything is going to be so crazy that there won't be time to deal with all the emotions that are sure to come up. We'll have to make sure we treat each other kindly during this time.

Or else.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Freaking out a little here...

I just talked to David. It looks like we'll be moving much earlier than planned. This is a good thing but I'm thrown. I'll post more later when things are a little more decided. But for now, EEEEKKK!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Yesterday I experimented with some casting resin. Ooh, fun stuff. A long time ago Dean sent me some unused bottle caps. I took five of them and scraped colored chalk into them until I had a little pile of color in each one. Then I mixed up some resin and poured it into the caps. Then I stirred them (carefully) until the chalk dust was well mixed. I set those aside. I had a bit of resin left over so I decided to see what else could be imbedded in it. Sometimes things will discolor in resin. I rubber stamped an image with gold ink on a piece of paper and dropped it in. I also put in some flakes of acrylic paint for color. Both of these things worked just fine. It gave me an idea for a fun little art piece.

The casting worked really well. I guess my measuring and mixing were just right. Today I'm going to finish the bottle caps by imbedding some trinkets in clear resin. When those are set I'll drill holes in them and string them up as a funky necklace. If it all turns out I'll develop it into a Michael's class.

Yesterday I also made the first steps of a spooky mirror frame. This is another class idea. I made some fake bones out of air dry clay. Then I cut a frame out of some foam core. I set the frame on a board covered with newspaper. Then I squirted on some spray foam insulation. While it was still wet I embedded the bones and some big round beads for eyeballs. The foam expanded up around the bones and eyeballs. It worked pretty well except some of the bones sunk down too far into the foam. Right now it doesn't look like much but when it's painted it'll look like a bunch of gross body parts with bones and eyeballs sticking out. Then I'll attach the mirror. A lovely addition to anyone's Halloween decor.

I'll also do a monster version and a Hellmouth version. It's a pretty fun project although I'd consider it to be advanced. I love that spray foam!

On Sunday Jeff, Bill and I performed at Eden Lutheran Church for their 119th anniversary celebration. We just played ukuleles and sang some songs. It was pretty cool. First they had a potluck lunch. Then some people got up and told stories of their experiences at Eden. One woman, who was the most enjoyable speaker, was 97 years old. I could have listened to her all afternoon. She had been at Eden since she was very young. They actually used to have services there in Swedish.

After the eating and storytelling we performed. I think we did ok although I'm never satisfied with my performances. We didn't have sound, just one mike that was placed way too far. Jeff and Bill can really project and I just can't match them without pushing. So I don't think I sang as well as I wanted to. But the audience enjoyed the show and at the end they took up a collection. We made $94!

Some of the folks from Hope were there. The big treat of the day was seeing Albert and Elise Maas. I haven't seen them in at least 15 years. Elise was one of Mom's best friends. They are such dear people.

Afterward Jeff and Bill and I drove to Claremont to the folk music center. Bill bought a uke for one of his students. After that we had dinner at a restaurant down the street. It was a very enjoyable day. I always have fun hanging out with those guys.

Today I'm going back to Ramona to work on the bridge prop. Jeez, I hope I can finish it today! Tomorrow night is my first class. This morning I'm going to Michael's to see if anyone has signed up. I'm going to hang up some skeletons and cards around the store. If I don't get any sign ups by tomorrow morning I'm going to cancel the class.

Dad was really foggy last night. He was trying to tell me about some trouble he was having but he barely made sense. He's better this morning.

It's a beautiful day. The weather is just dreamy.