Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Planning a Funeral

When Caleb and I came home from church Sunday afternoon we found that Grandma had died while we were at the service. It was a momentous day: Grandma went to heaven, I found a body and called 911 for the first time.

Half of the family was out of town. Looking back I kind of wish I had had more presence of mind, but not knowing, really, what a dead person looked like, I called 911 right away. It was probably obvious, but being inexperienced and in shock we really couldn't tell if she was dead! The ambulance came, two policemen and a detective(because it was an in-home death), and finally, the funeral home. That was an awkward call: Hello, I have a body in my home, can you come pick it up? The whole process from discovery to transportation took three hours, but it felt longer. I was surprised afterwards how shell-shocked I was.

Considering how we found her, it seems that she died very quickly, and considering her age and the state of her health, that is completely understandable. We had talked about this as a family, and knew that the most comfortable way for Grandma to go would be a sudden death, at home. It was one of the evident Providences- there was no slow decline. It was a good thing that Caleb and I found her together, and not one of the younger boys, or for that matter, one of our guests over the weekend; it was a Sunday when we were off work; it was good it happened when we were gone, even, because there was nothing we could have done and as traumatic as it was to find her, it probably would have been worse to watch her die.

Grandma was ninety-five. Grandma lived with us for just barely three years, after she reached a point where she could no longer stay in assisted living. In the days leading up to Sunday Grandma was in good spirits and energy. I always said that when Grandma died I would still be honest in my remembrances. Grandma was hard to live with! One of the first things everyone noticed is how quiet it is now, because Grandma used to talk constantly(and complain a fair amount, too). And so God used her in our lives.

Now we're all caught up in planning a funeral and preparing to host out-of-town family, and all pretty tired, but overall doing well.

Monday, April 27, 2015


The weather has been just the best lately: Sunny days and light rain, good sweater weather. Monday was a perfect day. Sunny, 60 degrees F, a slight breeze, trees in bloom. I got to work and the Critical Manager was opening. It's important to start off on the right foot with her, because sometimes she can be in a really bad mood, as opposed to a bad mood. So I said as a cheerful greeting, "It's a beautiful day!" and she replied, "yeah, well, I guess it's not raining."

That pretty much sums up our relationship.

At the other job I'm making an Alice in Wonderland dress for an upcoming theatrical. Starting next week the Woman of Energy will be away traveling to Renaissance Faires, so I get to have fun in the back by myself, being creative.

Alice's blue dress

Below are a few informational links in honor of the 240th anniversary of the Battle at Lexington and Concord, which was just a week ago.

Battle Road: A reenactment of the Battle at Lexington and Concord. Really want to go someday. Ten years from now would be cool.

Journal of the American Revolution: Lots of pertinent articles.

The best book on Lexington and Concord that I've read yet: Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Last weekend was the annual Fremont Book Sale. We've been going for years, and it's always fun. I bought a whole box of books for $4, and now I am actually, totally, completely out of shelf space. A few books that ended up in my box: Post Captain, by O'Brian. I now have fifteen out of twenty of the Aubrey-Maturin series. Adam of the Road, The Black Arrow, Middlemarch. Green Leaf in Drought Time, by Isobel Kuhn. Hudson Taylor and Maria. In Christ Alone, by Sinclair Ferguson. All good books.

This week's alterations at the costume shop.

On the way home from the book sale I stopped at MacDonalds to buy a drink(Happy hour: $2 medium shake, terribly bad for you). They were having issues with their register so it took a while, and when they got to me, the cashier forgot to give me change. Ten cents isn't a big deal, but I know from experience it's a pain at the end of the day if your count is off, so I asked for change. The cashier rang it up again and handed my $2 back, plus the change. When I asked him about it, and he just said it was a refund. They were busy, I was confused, so I just left. So it turned out they paid me to drink a medium chocolate shake. Weird.

Fort A got a new roof! Two weeks to opening weekend.

The other day at work we were talking about sewing orders for the next week and what sizes they needed to be, and my Manager said, you're what, a twelve, thirteen inch waist? Someone seriously has a disconnect from the U.S. Customary System of Measurement. Then when I got to my other job one of the customers walked up to the counter and said to me, Wow, you're really tiny. Apparently it was comment on my size day. I may be short, but I don't think I quite qualify for dwarfism.

The plant in my living quarters is blooming. It's Spring.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Slicing through Life

I usually keep a knife under my pillow while I'm house-sitting. I also have a knife in my purse that I take out when I'm walking into work. The other day I noticed the knife from my purse was missing. That night when I was hugging my pillow goodnight I realized both knives were under my pillow. Not a good idea considering work is probably more dangerous than bed; but now I can tell people that I sleep on a bed of knives.

This is a life-jacket for the anniversary of the Titanic. It was kind of a pain to make the pockets, so that's why there's just four of them. And don't be fooled; this vest couldn't keep a helium balloon afloat. It's just foam in the pockets.

Anyway, I'm done house-sitting and back home now, and have lots of sewing to finish up. Three girls from performance group are getting their own linen Regency dresses this session, blue, green, and red; a refreshing change from the giant Easter Egg debacle.Some of the costumes theatricals ask for just don't make sense to me; this week I made a bill costume, as in, a bill of Congress. Some poor child has to dress up as a piece of paper for the annual school theatrical. Only they won't look like a piece of paper, they'll just look like a tube of sheeting with a cheesy placard and a ribbon around their waist.

Bill, the piece of paper

At least the Woman of Energy has never been disappointed with any of my work. It's either a testament to my skill in working with few resources, or to her very low standards.