Monday, April 14, 2014

Literature in various forms

Starting March 31st, I'm participating in a six-week (two-hour) class on "Othello."  We discuss the play, and watch clips from various films and stage plays, to see how different actors portrayed the same scene, often quite differently.

We also attended an evening of Poe, during which students in a literature course read various Poe short stores and poems, most notably "The Tell-Tale Heart, "Masque of the Red Death," and "The Raven." The session made me want to dig out my "Poe's Complete Works," and do some re-reading.

On Palm Sunday, after church, we went to see the local community theater's production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," which I had not seen before.  It was outstanding!!  The actors received a standing ovation and applause that went on and on.

The play was updated to include people tweeting and taking "selfies" with Jesus, and King Herod conducting an on-line survey about Jesus.

My latest finish is "Spring Fling" by Laura J. Perin Designs.  Do you get the feeling I like her work? This was a free pattern that Fiberworks in Waverly, Iowa, sent with their latest newsletter.

Winter drags on

More wintery weather, more snow, so guess what - more stitching!

Floral Ribbons, by Laura J. Perin, from Needlepointers magazine

Four different colored versions of Diamond Elegance II,
by Barbara Richardson from Needlepointers magazine
March was also a month for movies.  We saw "Monuments Men," which I thought was very good.  I had held off on seeing the movie because the reviews I read were that the movie could have been great but was not very good.  But I enjoyed it.  We also saw the "Lego Movie," which was fun.  Neither of us guessed what the "piece of resistance" was before they revealed it at the end.

We also saw the stage play, "Absurd Person Singular."  What a play!  It was ostensibly a farce, and had lots of funny dialogue and scenes, but underneath all the farce was a pretty heart breaking story.  The play follows three couples (an architect and his wife, a banker and his wife, and a contractor and his wife) as they get together over three successive Christmas Eves.  First off, the contractor couple is hosting the architect couple and banker couple, who really look down their noses at the contractor.  The next Christmas Eve, the hot-shot architect's building has collapsed, so he has to go begging to the contractor for work,  while he's still looking down his nose at the contractor.  The third Christmas Eve finds the banker pretty much without funds and relying on the contractor to run his business through the bank, and still (guess what!) looking down his nose at the contractor.

Winter stitching

Winter weather was pretty horrible, lots of snow, bitterly cold temperatures.  First, the "polar vortex," then later the "polar plunge."  I'm sure glad I'm retired and don't have to go outside every day to go to work!  I spent February stitching a lot of little things. Some Christmas related, some not.

Two versions of "Christmas Tree Ornament" by Pat Mazu from Needlepoint Now magazine

Elegant Simplicity, also by Pat Mazu 

Medieval Flowers bookmark from Textile Heritage, Scotland

Sparkling Star ornament, by Laura J. Perin Designs
This pattern and canvas was a "freebie" with purchase from Nordic Needle in Fargo, North Dakota

Lily of the Valley, by Textile Heritage, Scotland

Toward the end of the month, I went to see the movie, Frozen, which was very cute.  Our local theater offered free popcorn on Tuesdays in February, which I couldn't turn down!

A milestone is approaching

I turn 65 in May, and in January I received my Medicare card, followed by an assortment of mailings from CMS and Social Security.  That hasn't been too bad, but I have also been inundated by telemarketers and junk mail from private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans.  All I can say is that Medicare insurance plans must be very lucrative, as eager as they are for my business!

As for stitching, I'm still in the Christmas spirit and spent time in January stitching the twelve "'Twas the Night" ornaments by JBW Designs.  I decided on different embellishments than the designer used (each ornament has a button or charm added to the stitching).  Here they are, stitched and ready to be finished into ornaments.