Saturday, July 28, 2012

Grandma at Home

By my rough count Grandma has lived with us for a total of nine weeks. For the most part it's going very well. Grandma can still wash, dress and feed herself. However, she's very hard of hearing and has poor eyesight. On top of that Grandma has always been a strong-willed, outspoken woman. And like the little girl with the curl, when Grandma gets mad, she gets really mad.

Visiting Grandma once or twice a week did not entirely prepare me for this: when we would help her at her apartment she would be thankful and grateful, and if she was out of sorts she was usually just depressed, not angry. She couldn't live alone anymore, she knew it, and she very much wanted to move in with us. Which was all a huge change from just five years ago, when (at age 88) she insisted she would never want to live with us.

This past week has been probably the most challenging so far. Any little issue could become a point upon which Grandma could become a martyr. Grandma alternately doesn't want to trouble us and then a bit later will want to be pampered constantly. How do you tell a mad ninety-three year old woman who doesn't want to listen that she can't bawl people out? When Grandma acts like a selfish child how can one enforce understandable consequences?

Grandma could be a huge encouragement to the family if she had a mind to. She has the time to invest interest into her family, especially the boys who until now have seen any of their Grandparents but rarely. I'm very grateful I was able to care for Grandma before she moved here because I got to know her much better than most of the Grandchildren. And really, she's so old. She's a piece of family history that we'll lose once she's gone. But after thirty five years of living alone (plus good dollop of total depravity) she's so focused on herself she can't think of how she could be a blessing.

Grandma might turn out to be a cross to bear. And that could be a blessing too. We're still figuring it all out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Regency Tailcoats

I've been slowly plugging away at the recent costume project, coats for thre Regency section of the costume closet. The gentlemen have until now been performing in a state of undress; last year we worked on trousers, shirts and waistcoats. This year I got to coats. The blue wool I made up to hopefully pass for a military coat to the untrained eye, or be converted into a accurate military coatee if needed. Military coats are so specific in the details and thus more expensive. This blue coatee is cut just like Caleb's', with short tails and a plain stand-up collar. It has white and blue floral lining, not at all appropriate for military, but people really don't see that part.

Civilian coats are much easier. One can do what they like (within the confines of history) with the collar, buttons, and tail length. The tan wool coat with green paisley lining fits nicely on my slim fifteen year old dancers.

 Tan coat: completed! Notice the buttons from Jas. Townsend.

The gorgeous black wool coat I also made with long tails. It's such a beautiful wool I can't wait to see it on my gentlemen.

Black tails with grey lining.

Next project: knee breeches.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Independence Now... Independence Forever

I've finished the first tailcoat, a men's shirt and ladies' shift, and started the second tailcoat. Having a room to myself makes it way too easy to stay up late doing endless hemming and stitching while watching some movie on Netflix. After a tiring week I'm trying to curb that habit. And it's still hot. It's hard to sew wool coats when it's this warm. Tonight everyone else is going bowling, and I'm going to stay home with Grandma to sew and watch a movie with my Bolthouse mocha cappuccino. And that's what I call a holiday.

I was sorely tempted to wear my colonial outfit for Independence Day, but I figured that would be a bit ostentatious, so I settled for wearing my special shoes instead:

 I purchased the imperfect ones in my normal shoe size, and they're just a tad bit snug. But I'm satisfied. I wore them to the Fort last weekend along with my turquoise linen dress and cream silk bonnet.