Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mt. Vernon, Iowa, Early Stop on International Tour

We attended a concert by the Wartburg College Choir (in conjunction with the Mount Vernon High School Concert Choir).   I figured that they picked the Mt. Vernon location because it would attract people from both Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.  But it turns out the director of the Mt. Vernon High School choir is a Wartburg graduate and was quite a "star" at Wartburg.  The concert was jam packed; we arrived 15  minutes early and had to scrounge a seat along the side, where we had a good view of the conductor, but didn't see much of the choir.

What we didn't realize is that this concert was an early stop on Wartburg's spring international concert tour. With concerts in Minnesota and Iowa, the choir then heads at the end of April to multiple stops in Germany, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

And we attended a concert presentation of "My Fair Lady," similar to "South Pacific" which we saw last year.  What I call more than a concert, less than a play.  The orchestra sits on the stage, there is minimal dialogue, just enough to get us from song to song, and the only props were three chairs that were used on and off as people sat or stood, Eliza's jewelry that she gives back, and the pair of slippers she throws at Professor Higgins after the ball.

And a couple of small completed stitchings.

Just for Fun #1 Fiesta Flowers by The Sweetheart Tree
This bright purple fabric with neon threads was in my stash, it caught my eye one gray cloudy day.  And with enough fabric and thread left over to make a bookmark.
Several bookmarks ready to be finished

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Collecting Dust Bunnies

I now have a new cat.   I picked out a very personable and cuddly long-haired tabby from the local animal shelter and she immediately made herself at home in my condo.  The first evening, she spent time inspecting and going over every square inch of my floor, collecting dust bunnies from under the bed and the far reaches of my closets.  Once she was satisfied with the floor, she began inspecting the higher reaches (tables, chairs, bathroom and kitchen counters, etc.)  She is much smaller than Max was (her 8 1/2 lbs to his 22 lbs).
Molly holding down the various papers by my computer
One thing I've discovered is that when Molly hops into my lap, she doesn't want to curl up and snuggle.  She wants petting, NOW.  So I have to drop whatever I'm doing, which is usually needlework or reading, and give her my attention.  I found a "grooming mitt" which I can use to pet her and at the same time brush off the loose hair.  She seems to like it.

In the process of adjusting to a new cat, I have managed to get two small pieces (bookmarks) stitched.

"Bookworm" needlepoint pattern I converted to cross-stitch

"Anemones" pattern by Textile Heritage of Scotland

Good Night, Sweet Prince...

...and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. (Horatio in "Hamlet")

Well, sad news.  In late January, my elderly cat, Mr. Max, decided to quit eating his prescription dry food.  So we tried mixing it with wet food, going to prescription wet food, to no avail.  A trip to the vet revealed no obvious underlying medical problem (blood sugar, kidney function, liver function, thyroid function all normal).  He continued to lose weight and to eat less and less food.  We finally gave up on the prescription food, and focused on just getting him to eat anything, and for awhile he ate chicken and turkey baby food.  Then came dental work, in case his teeth were hurting him and causing him not to want to eat.  That worked for a few days.  Then we went to medicine to increase his appetite (which he fought tooth and nail against taking) and steroid cream that I could rub in his ear that he didn't mind so much.  Everything we tried worked for a few days but not long term.  He lost more and more weight, though was acting his normal self.

Finally the end came on March 22nd.

And the week before, March 16th, was the 10th anniversary of my husband's death.   So the time was doubly sad.

During these weeks, I didn't get much done with regard to stitching.  I was so focused on Max that I wasn't in the mood to do much else.

Sympathy card from veterinary clinic, signed by everyone

Before and After

A beauty salon opened in the neighborhood (which I have been anxiously awaiting).  I gave them a try and as soon as I walked in and sat down, the beautician asked if it would be alright if they took before and after photos of me.  I said OK, and then the more I thought about it, the more I realized this really wasn't a compliment, that they must have thought I looked really horrible with my shaggy hair.   Of course, the haircut took an extra long time as the beautician made sure she got every hair exactly where she wanted it for the "after" photo. They have since posted the photos on their Facebook page, and one respondent commented, "what a transformation."

We went to see "The Sound of Music" at Hancher.  It was great!  And the woman who played the Mother Abbess (Melody Betts) was a stand out!

I did manage to get one piece of stitching done.  This is "Noel" by Lizzie*Kate.