Monday, June 28, 2010

The Muny

Once again, our dance school went to the Mumy, this time to see Beauty and the Beast. And, once again, it was a gorgeous night. What a fun time!

Except, you know how I always seem to attract Scent Enthusiasts? So, guess who sat one row up, 2 seats over on the upwind side! I couldn't believe it when he sat down; the kids burst out laughing. (If you're not part of our dance school and therefor in on the joke, picture being awash in Abercrombie.) At least it's an open air theatre.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wedding Photos

Alternate title: How We Spent Our Anniversary.

Ushers in action:

The shiny bits in the photos are bubbles:

And, of course, during the reception dancing, the Hokey Pokey:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Things Done List

The things-to-do list is formidable, so I'm going to contemplate the things-done list from yesterday.

Made a pair of capri pants with cheap twill from Hancock Fabrics. These still need a buttonhole and button.

Spread 50 percent of the bark mulch.

Planted 2 dozen vincas and watered them in. Also, got hose and sprayer hooked up on side of house (I passionately hate messing with hoses, so this is significant).

Mowed front yard.

Ran numerous errands: purchased flower for front of AnnaBeth's dress; car snacks for weekend road trip; picked up tickets for the Muny next week; organized yarn for project to do in the car (since the crochet collars are, thankfully, done -- no clue if y'all are getting dresses or what's up with any of that, but my part of that entire venture is DONE! and it's all in the hands of the dressmaker, et al).

Oohed and aahed over the neighbor's triplets when they went out for a walk. In an unusual moment of self-restraint, refrained from commenting that the way they tended to want to all pile together reminded me of rats, sensing that the proud parents might be ... dismayed by that remark.

Fed people several times, Also fed rats and cats.

Laundry. Rick got home late Wednesday night and dumped out his suitcase, so all clothing-type laundry got done yesterday so he could pack everything right back up again. By the way, this is our current lifestyle -- constant travel punctuated here and there by a day home to do laundry.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Sad Day

AnnaBeth's rat, Bethany, died today. She was 2.5 years old.

Shown here on AnnaBeth's lap last week:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shakespeare Family Festival Finale

Words that sum up Day 2: hot and humid.

Sunday had a couple of additional entertainments. I hadn't seen this lady doing the calligraphy on Saturday. She writes on the paper with water, then drops ink on the water. It's really, really cool looking. And, of course, she makes it look so easy that any of us could do it, but you know it would be a mess.

A group taught English Country Dancing. AnnaBeth and I participated in the first dance, but then took a break during the line dance. I got just the last bit on film when I realized what a cool dance it was.

Then the Morris Dancers came out.

Again, just the end on film. Wouldn't this liven up a feis? I can think of some of the guys at dance (or, ahem, former students -- you know who I mean) who'd like to give this a try.

The play went much more smoothly on Sunday night. The sound problems were (mostly) ironed out, some of the kids who were a bit tentative on their lines did much better

and they added a spotlight so we could see the ending better. Too bad my photography remained fuzzy. This is Sebastian and Viola reunited. Note that Sebastian is several inches taller than Viola, has short, dark, curly hair (in contrast to her straight light brown), and speaks with a distinct accent. But, you know, other than that, "one face, one voice". Sorta.

As a bonus, I won tickets to the Magic House, the Botanical Garden, the Transportation Museum, and a Cardinals game. So that was pretty cool.

Okay, so we're attempting to re-hydrate, plus recover from over-consumption of funnel cakes. Also, all of the costumes are in the back of my car, in need of deliverance to Dayspring. Glad it's over, but sort of sad, too. The kids are already looking forward to next year's Shakespeare camp (Comedy of Errors) and the next Dayspring workshop.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shakespeare Family Festival, Day 1

The festival kicked off with Sir Carl Kent telling stories while dressed in armor (in 95F heat -- sheesh!). Here he has a boy from the audience playing the part of a dragon:

There were various other things going on -- spinning demo, face painting, playground and spray-ground activity, people wandering around dressed as various Shakespearean characters whilst carrying trading cards with their pictures. Also, drawings and raffles for various stuff.

Then the clowns came out:

Except during their performance it became very dark, and a mighty wind came up. It was fairly ominous, and looked like we were in for a monsoon.

But it all blew over with a few drops of rain, and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees, which was wonderful. And the show went on.

A juggler, whose name I forget. He's really good. He's from the area. I was sitting next to his former math teacher, who told me that he used to say he didn't need to learn algebra because he was going to be a juggler. And she would say, no, you can't earn a living as a juggler, so learn the math. And here he is, traveling around the world as a juggler now. I assume he learned enough math to keep track of expenses.

The Tower Grove Singers:

A fencing demonstration by Bruce Sikes' group (he gives lessons in the area). They had a couple of kids come up and try fencing with foils, so if you want a chance to give it a quick try, come out to the festival today.

Another clown show, this time sans weather special effects.

Sir Carl then told the story of Sir Gawain and the Loathely Lady.

After which he was dubbed a knight of Creve Coeur by the mayor of Crreve Coeur.

Then the play started!

Viola and Sebastian on the "boat" (the chorus is forming a ship's prow) during the storm. The captain is behind the clowns. Orsino and Olivia are on the stage behind everyone, which I assume represents them hanging out in Illyria.

Viola discussing her options with the captain, deciding to dress up as a boy.

Viola meets veiled Olivia while Maria attends

and Olivia removes her veil.

Thalia and AnnaBeth only had one scene in which they interacted

Feste taunts Malvolio while the latter languishes in his prison.

By this time the sun had set, and it was getting too dark to take pictures.

There were some glitches with the sound, but otherwise a fun performance and a fun afternoon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Status Report

Jester pants done last night. I used New Look 6398, whacking them off at the knees. Fabric is uber-cheap polyester knit from Hancock.

Pants with top. After I took this shot I made triangular jags along the bottom of the top. No extra pic on that, but they're 60 degree angles, in case you wondered.

Action shot during rehearsal. I was standing in the shade, and thus far away. It was about 95F (35C) with a decent amount of humidity.

One of the other moms asked where we'd found them, and said, "Hancock Fabric ... they arose out of the fabric yesterday," waving my hands appropriately to show pants magically arising. Later I was commenting that AnnaBeth's entire life revolves around over-acting and being dramatic, and that same mom said, "So, she gets that from you, right?" Hmmmm.....

Here's Thalia's scene with Orsino towards the end. Thalia's on the left.

We came home, AnnaBeth and I went to the pool for about 30 minutes, and now everyone's just sort of sitting around staring into space.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

All Twelfth Night All the Time

It was pouring this morning -- absolutely pouring -- as we were getting ready to go to rehearsal, and still pouring on the drive there. And the entire time I had Ben Kingsley in my head, singing The Rain It Raineth Every Day:

Last night I picked the kids up at 5pm, and they were absolutely beat from 8 hours of rehearsal. So we stopped on the way home to get some food (a huge treat -- we rarely eat out), then sat in front of the television watching the above DVD of the play -- a way to totally relax, yet still be "working". The kids spent much of the time discussing which lines the film left out, the blocking, the differences in characterization. And during one of Viola's speeches they started yelling, "SPIT! SPIT!" in reference to yesterday's conversation in the car.

I think they could've watched it with the sound turned off, dubbing in the voices themselves. I'm amazed how much of it I've learned just from running lines with them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Shakespeare

I should be spreading bark mulch right now, since the temperature/humidity combo isn't severely disgusting at the moment (when I mowed the lawn Monday the air was so heavy you could swim in it). But every time I walk out there to look at it I get distracted by the mole runs. MOLE RUNS! Hey, cats, why don't you get out there and earn your living? Also, hey, moles, why don't you eat the roots off of the weeds in the flower bed instead of ruining the nice plants?

Anyway, the Shakespeare production is hurtling towards us like a runaway train. Annabeth was peeved that she didn't have a part that included one of the fancy costumes. So I made her a jester top. This is how far we've gotten with it:

The plan is to have elastic in the sleeves on the forearms, and to have a jagged hem. The fabric is cheap cotton made up in an interpretation of Simplicity 4860 (no clue if this is out-of-print -- I found it in our pattern stash); sash is a silk scarf we dyed with Koolaid and/or food coloring several years ago. The place putting this whole shebang on has gold pants for the kids playing clown roles, but we might end up making some ourselves -- depends on what the director thinks. Also, they had a cool jester cap, but it seemed sort of big for Annabeth, so we might be making one of those, too.

And, this being us, every time we look at it someone suggests, in a cooing tone of voice, covering it with Hundreds of Swarovski Crystals! and another person gushes, "Oh, that would be really STUNNING!" Which makes sense if 1) you're in Irish Dance, and 2) you enjoy making fun of ads for solo dresses.

I was running through scenes with Thalia last night, and she doesn't have her lines totally memorized yet. And I got sort of panicked because YOOHOO, only THREE MORE DAYS OF REHEARSAL! Anyway, this morning in the car on the way to the rehearsal she was working on the lines (total digression: We have to drive on the highway to get to this place, and I usually don't drive on the highway at 8:30a.m.-ish, so I didn't know that apparently Wednesdays are Let's Get In the Car and Drive day, featuring thousands of cars on the highway. However, when the traffic is going 15mph on the Interstate instead of the usual 65mph you have time to notice the sunflower growing by the guard rail and wonder how that happened -- a bird? Someone threw seeds out their car window?). She absolutely could not remember the line "She pines in thought," so I said, "She Pines In Thought -- SPIT!" (because one way to memorize lines is to quiz yourself on the 1st letter of every word, except probably this should be SPITH! instead of SPIT!) which reminded me of the time we were driving a friend home from dance and discussing the Black Eyed Peas, and the friend was saying that she had one of their albums where they say a "bad word" but when they get to that spot she just sings, "Spit!", which I have to admit I thought was a sort of pointless substitution, all things considered. So now whenever I think of saying "Spit!" emphatically I think of her sitting in the backseat virtuously yelling "SPIT!" Except by the time I got done with telling Thalia all of this she was commenting, "Oh, great, now whenever I say this line I'm going to start laughing."

On the other hand, I don't think she'll forget the line.

Shakespeare Family Festival

I swiped this from the email they sent out, but it ended up in 2 parts. But it gets the point across, right?

The kids handed out flyers in dance class, but they ran out of the flyers before they ran out of people they meant to give them to. Also, they handed them out to other kids, so who knows where the flyers ended up -- stuffed in dance bags with old socks, or crammed in a pocket as everyone ran out of class.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Indy Feis

Once again putting this in sections so you can read the bits you want and ignore the rest.


Indianapolis is a straight shot from St. Louis on Interstate 70. We left in the early afternoon on Friday, and arrived during rush hour (the time zone changes once you enter Indiana). I crocheted collars, the kids worked on their Twelfth Night scripts.


The BEST HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS EVER! Check it out!. Really, click on the bit that says "select photo category" and choose features, and take a look at that pool ... it's a salt water pool with a waterfall/fountain. Nice size, hardly anyone using it. Wow, it was SO NICE that we're considering going back and just hanging out there. Plus, our room had 2 king size beds (which meant it was impossible to practice dance, but, hey, everyone got a great night's sleep). Plus, of course, the free breakfast in the morning.

We ate at the Ruby Tuesday's south on 31, which I'm noting here since Rick has no memory that that's where we ate in 2009. So, you know, when the discussion comes up again in 2011 we can just look up this entry


This is our 3rd time at the Indianapolis Feis, and, you what? It's a nice feis, pleasant, etc. etc., and just sort of ... boring. No one threw up, had costume malfunctions, threw a tantrum, lost a shoe, or otherwise livened up the day. It was just ... pleasant. And therefor dull. I didn't even bother taking photos of wigs for Ami.

The one teeny bit of excitement is that they decided to run the Treble Reels in the middle of the day this year, so they announced that everyone should go to the appropriate stages; except really, they shouldn't have, and a couple of our school's dancers ending up missing Slip Jig. The volunteers figured out how to have those kids dance their Slip Jigs after lunch, then. That was a hassle for the people involved. Our family wasn't involved in Treble Reel, which I was glad of, under the circumstances. So we had a really blase day of hanging around the appropriate stage waiting for our dances. Aunt Elaine came by after lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon with us.

The feis provides plenty of room for camping, so we took a blanket and soccer chairs. Oh, and it finally struck me why this is one feis they aren't constantly telling people to back away from the judges table -- they cordon off the judges table so no one gets near it. Clever idea. Side view:

(Action shot of Judy McCafferty preparing to judge some beginners. I've decided that when you know the judges by name when you see them you've probably been doing this too long; except everyone remembers Ms McCafferty because they like her, so maybe it's okay.)

Another post about the general set up of the feis here. We bought lunch from the same concession stand as last year -- $7 for a large sandwich plus chip, big enough for 2 people to split.

I took photos of the results boards for Novice/Open, since the feis hasn't posted these results anywhere I could find in the past couple of years. These are of limited use if you don't have the competitor numbers, of course. The competitor list is currently available(June 2010) as a pdf file here. Click on the pictures to make them bigger and more legible. These aren't in order, and sorry about the ladder in one of them, but people kept wandering in front of me, so I was happy to just get photos at all.


Actually, we didn't come home until Sunday. We spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa, watching Hairspray on DVD (we saw it live at the Fox a couple of years ago, but never saw the movie). It looked like some absolutely wicked weather was coming along Interstate 70 from St. Louis straight to Indianapolis on Saturday night -- it will be interesting to hear how the trip went for those who came straight home. Our trip was more of the same crocheting and line memorization, with pleasant weather.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday


We're going to a wedding later this month, and Thalia and AnnaBeth are supposed to light the candles. The bride asked that they wear pink.

AnnaBeth selected McCall's 4767 for her dress. She wanted pink with white dots, which we found in the quilting cottons at JoAnn Fabrics. And since JoAnn doesn't have a nice batiste to use as lining, we're using white muslin.

I need to actually sew the straps in place, fiddle some more with the lining, and hem it all.

I'm not sure how I want to do the hems. Right now they're just serged. The flounces are circular, which will be a pain to hem in quilting cotton. Hmmm....

After we purchased the pattern we heard that the groom's mom said this was turning into a white trash wedding (weddings so often bring out the best in everyone, don't they?). And my first thought was "CRAP! We shoulda done tube tops!" because when I hear the words "white trash" my first thought is "tube tops". In case you wondered, my second thought is Miley Cyrus singing "Party in the USA".

But, anyway, this is what we're stuck with as our salute to the genre. We haven't picked out Thalia's dress yet, so there's still hope that we can help fulfill the woman's expectations.


ITBS. Note the pile of tissues -- sudden onset of a cold just as we were getting started.


Auditions for Twelfth NIght were Monday morning, and they still haven't heard what parts they got. Considering that the play is in about 10 days, it would be nice to start memorizing lines. If we haven't heard soon I'll have to call. This waiting around is annoying.

NEWS FLASH! Viola and the Lead Clown are in the house! Now I need to go get printer ink since the printer just gave up on the 60 page script.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Random Weekend Stuff

AnnaBeth had a sleepover Friday night (a friend was celebrating that her brothers went to the Boy Scout Rally in Forest Park), and Thalia went to a friend's house, too. I spent most of the evening thinking, "Ack! I need to go pick up kids!" and then remembering that I didn't have to. It was weird.

But, since no one else was around, Rick and I got the pre-made shish kabobs from Whole Foods for supper and grilled them.

Saturday afternoon was hot, so we all went to the pool.

Saturday evening we finally watched Avatar. Are we the last people to see this movie? I wanted to spend the time crocheting, but I was wedged into a chair with a cat and a kid.

Sunday afternoon we watched Alice in Wonderland. Meh. Cool costumes, interesting special effects, otherwise boring.

I started the dress AnnaBeth is going to wear to her cousin's wedding. It's pretty simple, so that's zipping along. Pictures later.

The weather was pleasant, and we met one of the neighbors' babies (multiple birth a couple of weeks ago). Much oohing and aahing. They aren't cleared to have other people in their house yet.

Mostly it felt SO GOOD to not have to go anywhere. The perfect summer weekend.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Final Show of the School Year

Finally, we're done with these various shows and recitals. Last night's was a Veggie Tale theme.

We couldn't get the camera to show the true color of the Larry-Boy shirt, which is purple. Oh well.

The kids in Thalia and AnnaBeth's class were the background/chorus. Their class did well with what they were supposed to do. And they had become good friends during the school year (doing improv games together every week has that effect), so it was nice that they had one last project to do together.

Under the stage lights with the camera set on nighttime/no flash we finally get a purple shirt!

As for the show: some good, some bad, some painfully bad. I kept thinking of Bridgett jabbing herself in the eye with a rusty fork -- we had some fork-worthy moments. But then there were times everything clicked together.

Mostly I'm just thrilled beyond words that we're finished with shows and recitals for this school year. Except that the kids are doing Shakespeare camp in a couple of weeks, which will end in 2 performances, along with a dance performance earlier that same Saturday. All of which happens after the next feis. Which is a week from tomorrow. So, off of one merry-go-round and onto another.