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The Monkey in the cage said,”hello”

I was looking at some old short stories that I had written and I found this very very short one. I really like it so I thought I would share.    The monkey in the cage said, “Hello.” I pretended not to hear anything. It wasn’t my monkey, and I certainly didn’t want it on my back. For years I had been providing a taxi service for other people’s monkeys, taking on their problems and trying to solve them. I’m not insensitive to its plight, its bad habits, and addictions. I almost reached into my pocket to hand it a comb. The monkey’s hair was matted, but I knew that soon I would be combing, picking lice, and grooming the monkey rather than letting it take care of itself. Monkeys don’t need combs, they need to be free. The cage was open, all the monkey had to do was step out and join his fellow monkeys. No, I wouldn’t be ...

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Going to a Renfaire

Turns out that I am going to a RenFaire in August.  A dear friend of mine has offered me a place to stay in Santa Rosa while I visit La Primera and family. When I told him the dates, he said, “There’s a small RenFaire in San Jose the first weekend in August, we can go!” Harry and I do faire together, he was my assistant director for Heart of the Forest Faire (HOTF), and I was his for Dickens’ Fair. When Harry says let’s go to a faire, he doesn’t mean buy a ticket and wander around. He means let’s go and participate. The great and honorable guild of St. Swithens’ will be starting it’s come back tour, right now it looks like a trio, but we can build on that. Remember the Elizabethan smock that I made in January? It’s been joined by a new corset, a skirt, and my Sunday best bodice from HOTF. I just finished a second ...

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A confession- I’ve been a bit down lately

My house looks like looters came and went. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the least bit tidy. Too many projects going on at the same time, and a tendency to be distracted. I’ve always said that while no one in their right mind would do surgery in my kitchen, no one would think twice about eating food prepared there. However, if the health department had come in last week, they might not have shut me down as a health hazard but they certainly would have written me a few citations. The state of my house was bad enough that BK worried about me, to the point that she was practicing what she was going to say. Imagine her relief when she came over yesterday and found that I am heading back to normal. It didn’t take that long to clean the kitchen, a couple of hours on Sunday before I headed off to the symphony. ...

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Uniquely Yucatan- blatant self promotion

Long ago in a Writers’ Group far far away, a sequel was born. Well, not that long ago, December 2015, but my life has been so chaotic that I just realized I never told you all about it until today. I have four stories in Uniquely Yucatan stories mostly true, spiced with artistic license.  Which makes three anthologies that you can own that contain stories written by me. You can either buy a copy online or at the Merida English Library. Our Yucatan and Uniquely Yucatan not only interesting ready they are pretty volumes, and would make a lovely souvenir or gift. Right along with the rest of the self promotion, you need to know that if you follow the links from my blog to Amazon, I get a small commission, which won’t affect your sales price in any way. To be honest, I make very little money from the links, I’ve gotten a total of one check for $10 usd. ...

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Me Made May and Me

It’s time for Me Made May, I love the idea of having an entirely Me Made wardrobe. A wardrobe that fits and is uniquely me.  The idea of posting outfits and modeling them feel narcissistic, though I understand it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s nice to see real people wearing things that they made, not just the vintage wearing community or the super seamstress who makes a dress a day, normal people living real lives and wearing normal clothes. I like being accountable, it helps me with follow through, but I don’t want to feel compelled to do something right now. So maybe next year? Right now, I have a primarily store bought wardrobe, in the last 3 months I have bought more clothes than I did in the previous ten years. Why? Mainly because I was unhappy. My whole life feels different without Duke. I am going out more, I go to Door 54 for the Monday and ...

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Mermaid Tails

Awhile back I saved this pin, to my Pinterest board “Things 2 make and sew 4 my grandchildren”.  There isn’t a lot of space in my daughter’s home, she is more into giving them experiences rather than more stuff, so I do more pinning than making.  The mermaid tails looked like something they would use, that would be unique, and fun to sew. Basically, they are a stylized snug sack/sleeping bag, remember them? So first I sent her a link to the pattern, asking her if she thought the kids would want one. No use making something if there is no interest in using it. She wrote back that the littles (aged 4 and 5) would love them. Off I went to the fabric store in search of polar fleece. With the weather frequently reaching 90º F, polar fleece was fast disappearing from the fabric stores. Good thing I asked, because they picked different prints than I would have. The littlest ...

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Elizabethan Smock: Less procrastinating than I thought.

I finished my Elizabethan smock! I even hand sewed the entire thing using run and fell seams. I’m particularly proud of the underarm gussets. I had a hard time getting around to starting this project. Usually I would just make a simple raglan sleeve peasant style smock with a drawstring for Renaissance Faire garb but the costuming  guidelines for Much Ado about Sebastopol have this caveat “Drawstring or elasticized necklines and sleeve cuffs are not acceptable”. Just reading the guidelines made me anxious, not that I had any of my costuming saved except my corset, peasant bodice, and middle class bodice. It’s a whole different look, a more historically accurate one, but zounds, it’s scary to start all over doing things differently. All good costumes start from the inside out, so hence this smock. The Challenge: Procrastination Material: Linen cotton blend Pattern:   Self drafted using the directions on the Tudor Costume Page guide  Year: 1560’s approximately Notions: all purpose thread, 100 % cotton embroidery ...

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Procrastination January begins

Now that January is here I’m having a hard time deciding what my sewing project will be. Originally I planned on finishing my 1920s one hour dress, but now I am not so sure that I care enough to finish it. I’ve decided to make an Elizabethan smock. The fitting really only applies to the shoulders, the costuming guidelines for Much Ado About Sebastopol  encourage you to wear a square necked smock rather than the gathered peasant blouse type that I usually made for RenFaire. This fits the procrastination theme because my first thought on reading the costuming guidelines was, “OMG, this is totally different than what I used to make for RPFN. ”  I found the idea paralyzing. Options aren’t lacking however, the challenge includes using  fabric that has been languishing in your stash which I have no lack of; or projects that you have put off starting. Yeah, there are more than a few of those. My main sticking ...

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What do I do all day now?

January is fast approaching. One thing I know that I need to do is start some new routines. Furgus is helping with that, he gets up at dawn and wakes me up too. He sleeps in my bedroom next to my bed, he’s just big enough to reach the edge of the mattress when he stands on his hind legs. Every morning I walk him for half an hour, my plan is to add an evening walk to our routine too. He is very energetic, attacking leaves in the garden, and demanding that I toss his toys for him to fetch. Not that he brings them back to me, he likes to taunt me, trying to get me to chase him. My solution has been to toss another toy, sometimes he doesn’t drop the first toy which stymies him, but usually he abandons the bird in the hand to go after the one in the bush. Duke used to wake ...

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The Historical Sew Monthly

2016 is the year that I am going to join The Historical Sew Monthly. I figure by January I should be able to sew again.  January’s theme is procrastination- so I am going to finish my One-hour dress. I’m planning on attending the 2016 Dickens’ Fair and of course I need clothes. I don’t even know if my corset will fit and it makes no sense to try it on until after I am done with all my surgeries, but there are plenty of other things that I can make that won’t require that much fitting, like underpinnings. Now I have to figure out how to put the participant button on my sidebar. Since I can’t figure out how to make the RSS feed work, it may take me awhile, though there is a Facebook page I can join to post my stuff on. I think adding some more structure to my life will help me, and focusing on sewing ...

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