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    Friday, August 29, 2008

    Links to Both Articles on the HCA & the Huntington Beach event

    In case anyone is interested in reading that story written up on my group and the Huntington Beach Civil War Days event, and published in Thursday's paper, here are the direct links to the two papers/stories:

    HB Independent:
    Article Name: Interacting Reenactment
    (By Candice Baker)

    Daily Pilot:
    Article Name: Life Circa the Civil War

    (By Candice Baker)

    (It's the same story, just different pictures used to illustrate - both pictures were used in the hardcopy version of the story).

    In the Print version - The Daily Pilot story is found on page 8 & 9 (and both pictures are used). I've seen this one. =) The HB Independent apparently has a COLOR photo of us on the front page of the section. How cool is that?!?


    Final Countdown to 2008 Huntington Beach Civil War Days!

    Well, as I write this I'm taking a break from doing final packing for the Huntington Beach "Civil War Days" Event.

    (I'm currently sorting a few bits of Civil War music into new categories, so it can be ready on my ipod for later use when I have it discretely hidden on site for some background music at a few key after hours! =)

    But I soon need to get back to packing my personal items (clothing for the weekend, toiletries, and misc. odds & ends), quickly create some casings for a few curtains well be using with our awnings, and then get in the car and drive up to Garden Grove to help with final food prep.


    And after all that, drive down to Huntington Beach Central Park so that I'm arriving at 3pm (the earliest they allow us in the park) to meet up with Jenniifer Mulvey, Jennifer Kautto, and anyone else that's showing up today (fingers crossed that more DO show up) to start setting up all of our Stuff!

    Lana will join us hopefully around 5pm (she's hoping to get off a few hrs early), same for Sara & Jeremiah Cornthwaite. Yea!

    This event has definitely had a lot of planning time and prep time (especially for the food - lots of hours logged by my mom this week in food prep stuff...THANK YOU!!!), but I'm sure it'll all be worth it.

    We've got a LOT going on this weekend.
    To see a Flyer (which I created) for this event, go to:

    We've also posted driving directions, a map of the site, and other useful bits of information on our group's website. (Calendar section, next to the Huntington Beach entry).

    Well...I must get back to work/packing.


    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    E-mail-A-Friend: "Interacting reenactment"

    Here's the Story about HCA and the upcoming Huntington Beach Reenactment! (Appearing in Thursday's Print Edition).


    Interacting reenactment
    Historical Citizens Assn. revives civilian life in Civil War and brings people together without distractions like cellphones and the Internet.

    Jennifer Mulvey has two uniforms. The one she wears most often has a collared shirt, arm patch and a shiny brass badge.

    But this weekend she will exchange it for a hoop skirt, corset and apron.

    For more of this story, click on or type the URL below:

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    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Elsies's Interest'n News!!!!!

    Just had to forward this on. It's so fun to read through it. And, of course, it also helps explain a bit of who the characters are in my Civil War reenacting group (including my own Character of Violet). We're busy getting ready for the event this weekend in Huntington Beach, so this was emailed out to the group to refresh everyone on who's who, etc., especially since we have a lot of new people attending this event with us.

    aka - Miss Violet Johnson, Johnson Oak Inn (47 Oak St)

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Jennifer Mulvey
    Date: Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 11:02 AM
    Subject: [HistoricalCitizens] Elsies's Interest'n News!!!!!

    Hi All,

    Hopefully this will help all the new (and some of us seasoned)
    participants to know all the inside stuff that goes on in first
    person on site. Read and enjoy!

    Elsie's Interest'n News

    Johnson Oak Inn, Oak Street, North Carolina

    Since we've had all kinds of new people stop'n by the inn, I'd
    thought I write a wee bit to let you in on the go'ns on of this here
    town and all it's patrons. Follow along and you'll get the story.

    There's been some discussions lately on the alliances of the folks
    here. Figure'n my personal tears fall for neither side, I've heard
    the lady folk who run this Inn have declared this a neutral zone, but
    I've heard whispers for both sides from the various patrons. There's
    a big scuttle over a dinner to be held at the Inn in which Southern
    men of standing are attending and I've also heard tell a group of
    Northern soldiers are headed this way also. Lordy knows a certain
    Mrs. Cressman will let anyone in without any contesting.

    Let me tell you the tale of the Inn. Miss Violet Johnson & Mrs. Lily
    Cressman are sisters. Seems Violet has been running the Johnson Oak
    Inn because all the men folk went to fight'n or are six feet under.
    Before I arrived in this town I heard Violet got the Inn building
    burned down due to wild night and some soldiers. She still claims
    another story, but I've seen the glances. Once Lily heard, she packed
    everything up from living the snooty high life and came to help.
    Hense all the nice stuff here at our temporary Inn encampment. Now be
    cautious, cause Lily is a widow and she's looking for a new man, but
    he has to be someone of importance, (like have lots of "shiny stuff"
    attached to his uniform.)

    Oak Street has a Telegraph Office run by a fine gentleman named Mr.
    Thomas Alexander and his wife Mrs. Theresa Alexander. They often
    frequent the Inn for meals and conversation, as Theresa has become
    quite fond of the ladies of the Inn. I've heard tell recently the Mr.
    and Mrs. have gone to the next county over to visit the resident
    doctor there.

    Mrs. Elizabeth Rosbrugh currently stays at the Inn while her husband
    is off fighting in the war. She's fine lady and is always willing to
    give some advice on the fineries of fashion. She patiently waits to
    hear from her beloved, who is in the 2nd Vermont Troop (Union).

    The Hensley's are new to the Newpaper'n business and I hear tell they
    are release'n their first attempt at it real soon. Figuer'n I don't
    read as well as the rest o'em I'll give it a gander, but I seem to
    like the pictures best. They're a small family of three, but Lordy
    don't you know there's a fourth on the way!

    Miss Madeline McAtee and her family have recently landed at Oak
    Street. While traveling to her destination, she was blocked by the
    war and is now intent on staying as our new School Teacher. Her
    mother, Mrs. Teresa McAtee, and siblings (Jacob & "Lottie") were
    traveling with her and now put in some help'n hands in the school
    house. Speaking of school house Mrs. Diana Fickas is the current
    resident of the school house and holds a refinement and finishing
    school for the young ladies in the neighboring counties. Them's real
    fine folk.

    There are many currently residents of the Inn, whom to help lighten
    the load, often offer'n to help in the kitchen or set the table. The
    count's too big for me to go postulat'n on all of `em.

    I've heard that the empty photography studio is being eyed at by a
    newcomer. He's due to land in the town shortly and from the talk of
    it he brings others with him, I'll have to meet him before I comment
    on any good bits of information.

    Like I've said, I've heard Gen. Sherman and some of his men are
    headed towards the Inn. We had a run in with them before and needless
    to say they are welcomed, but a close eye is kept on their behaviors.
    They've been know to get a bit out of hand and one certain Irishman
    has a tendency to tell tall tales. Their brass and bold attitudes
    tend to get the ladies hearts a flutter'n, but they don't fool me
    with their big words and sly smiles.

    And I'm "Elsie", that all the seem to call me around here. I'm
    guess'n it's because I don't rank as important as the rest. I came
    from Ireland in all my state. Accord'n to the towns folk I'm
    unlearned and second class citizenship, lower than them black folk.
    The fine ladies of the Inn have taken me on board and treat me right
    well, although I tend to get a scold'n quite often. I find these
    American ways to be a wee bit too uptight and my mouth oft speaks
    before my heads done think'n. I figure God wouldn' have given me all
    this spit and vigor for me not to use it!

    All in all this is our town. Should you want to join in on the first
    person fun feel free! Remember to address people as Mrs, Miss or Mr.
    so and so. We really should be respectful and use proper names. Women
    usually wore something on their heads when promenading and if you
    don't know an answer to a question about something a spectator asks,
    point towards the people listed.

    This is all about having fun and always remember, soldiers and the
    Irish can never be trusted!

    Some of the First Person Names, (which are different from their real
    Lana Bailey – Mrs. Lily Cressmen
    Becky Thelin – Miss Violet Johnson
    Jenn Mulvey – Mrs. Ealasaid "Elsie" Mulvey
    Tom & Terri Willson – Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Alexander
    Jennifer Rosbrugh – Mrs. Elizabeth Rosbrugh
    Karen Stanford – Mrs. Paige Patterson
    Marisa Maynes – Madeline McAtee
    Teresa Maynes – Teresa McAtee



    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Busy with Event Preparations (8/24)

    What a day! After attending church at Bethany in the morning, and having lunch with my family, I spent the afternoon busy with preparations for next weekend's Civil War event.

    Just before 1pm, both Jennifer Mulvey ('Jenn') and Jennifer Kautto ('Jenny') arrived at my folks house to help me with unloading the van to do inventory and to sort & repack it all into the new boxes we had made especially for the "Johnson Oak Inn" (Kitchen area).

    Of course it was blazing hot when we went to work, but we perservered (and took drink breaks so we wouldn't get too dehyraded). Soon enough we had everything pulled out and sorted into categories. It was an interesting sight to see with all our equipment spread out around the driveway in the in lawns! Must have looked like a very odd garage sale or something. (We did get a few odd looks and double takes as people drove past us on the cul-de-sac).

    After a while (around 2:30pm? or perhaps around 3pm), Candice Baker Yacono arrived with her husband so that she could inverview me/us regarding the upcoming Huntington Beach Civil War event that we were attending, and get a bit of information about our group and reenacting in general and all. (It's great to have connections! She and I went to the same High School, although she was in my brother's grade level...and she's still good friends with Tim and Monica =).

    It was certainly nice to take a break from the heat and moving things around and sit in a nice air-conditioned room and talk. =) And I think the interview went quite well. I'm excited to see what comes of it. (Her story will be in a Huntington Beach newspaper that she works for).

    After we concluded the interview the three of us (Jenn, Jenny, & myself) got back to work in arranging all the items we could into the new boxes, making a list of the items now stored in the boxes (for future reference) and then Jenn branded each box with a letter using a woodburner so we could easily identify each box in the future for set up/tear down.


    Around 5:30pm, I did a McDonalds run (since we were starving, but so near the end we didn't want to all stop working) and brought back a couple of hamburgers/cheeseburgers and fries to statisfy our hunger.

    By 7pm - we were DONE!

    We sat for a few moments just talking while we relaxed, and then Jenn & Jenny took off for home.

    I stuck around to wait for my folks to return from church (evening service) since I had brought a dress (Civil War) to try on my mom since she needed an outfit for the upcoming HB weekend when she was with us on site.

    By 7:45pm (and a mini-nap for me when I dozed off while waiting), my parents had arrived home and I soon was able to have my mom try out the loaner dress. It fit! Huzzah!
    One worry taken care of.

    I then ended up talking with them about various things, including more food planning related stuff with my mom. (Specifically quantities of certain items, and which ingredients for different meals, etc.). Now all we need to finish things out is a final head count. (We were given a general number for Saturday's mid day meal, but don't know how much that will change for Saturday Supper, nor do we have any numbers for Sunday yet. At least we did get a few checks in the mail already, since we DID ask people to write and send their meal payment check ahead of time to help us with planning and with food costs).

    By the time I left my folks house, it was just past 10pm. Yikes!
    A late night for me.

    Can't wait for Monday, though. It's "Banana Split Day" according to our 'fun' calendar. (Hey, we found it online - we didn't make it up! Truly!). And because my work does have a great collection of people and we do truly get along, which is a definite bonus for working here (not all works can boast of the great working relationships of its staff/employees), we're going to celebrate and have a Banana Split! Each of us signed up to bring some part of the banana split so that we split the cost amongst us all...and we can create a truly YUMMY banana split on Monday.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Grandpa Art update (8/20/08)

    Well, its official. My grandpa has been released from the hospital and is now in a nursing facility. (Better than being in the hospital, but we all can't wait till he's better enough to go home).
    My aunt's update is copied below. (I took out the address, telephone number, & room number of the facility my grandpa is staying at, since I didn't want to publish that for the world when I post this on my blog.)


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 2:40 PM
    Subject: Art update 9

    Hi everyone,
    Praise the Lord my Dad was released from the hospital yesterday and he is now at Carmel Mountain Rehab.  We wanted Dad to go to Casa De Las Campanas or Remington Club Health Center, but that will never happen. Yesterday was quite a stressful day (horrific) for me and my Mom especially dealing with the case worker and doctors who never return a phone call - this includes his primary care doctor, Dr. Chang of Sharp Rees Stealy Medical.  The case worker is the person (gestapo) who tells you which skilled nursing facility you will be placed in.  I could write a book about the experience, but I will spare you. Though, after my Uncle Clair (Dad's brother) and Aunt Jean had visited my Dad they took me and my Mom out to dinner to celebrate my birthday.  That was a very special treat for us.  My Dad seems to be doing better, his jaundice is almost gone and his kidneys are functioning a little better.  We are praying that he will get his strength back so that he can come home soon.  I also pray that Carmel Mountain Rehab will give him excellent care, since we had no choice in the care facility.
    Skilled nursing facility where my Dad is at: (close to Costco in the Carmel Mountain area)
    Carmel Mountain Rehab and Healthcare Center
    (San Diego, Ca)
    Please continue to keep my Dad in your prayers.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Grandpa Art update (8/19/08)

    Good news! Apparently, my Grandpa is finally stable enough that he is scheduled to be released from the hospital (to a skilled nursing facility).


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 12:05 PM
    Subject: Art update 8

    Hi everyone
    Praise the Lord my Dad is being released from the Hospital today.  He will be going to a skilled nursing facility.  We don't know when he will be released today nor do we know what facility he will be going to.  The inefficiency is par for the course and driving us crazy.  You are assigned a case worker and that is the person who places one into a skilled nursing facility.  We have not been able to reach this case worker by phone and the nurse told us the case worker would see us shortly -- well that has been over 2 hours ago.  Apparently their definition of shortly is different than my definition.
    Please continue to keep my Dad in your prayers

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Grandpa Art Update (8/18/08)

    Grandpa is still in the hospital...waiting to for a doctor to find out why/where he's losing blood. And since they're not sure if they need to do an operation, he's been without food/water for some time now.
    Please keep him in your prayers.


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:39 PM
    Subject: Art Update 7

    Hi everyone,
    Yesterday, my Dad was given 2 units of blood and feeling a little better.  The doctors put him on a liquid diet yesterday with no food and water after midnight in case they need to do a procedure on him today to determine where the bleeding is coming from.  Well I have been waiting to write this email hopefully to hear something from his third gastroenterologist (he has a new set of doctors each week), but he hasn't been in to see my Dad as of yet (11:55 a.m.).  So again he goes for a long time without food and water. The lack of water is not good for extended periods of time due to his already compromised kidney's.  His kidney's are only 30% operational but were fully operational upon entering the hospital two weeks ago.
    Please continue to keep my Dad in your prayers.

    Up in Arms about Tenant's Rights

    Ok, so I'm not *literally* up in arms about something...but I am quite upset/frustrated about a situation with where I live/rent.

    A bit of background:
    I and my roommate rent a condo (2nd floor) from a private individual. We originally signed a lease agreement when we moved in, but when it expired, my roommate preferred that we go 'month to month'. We've now been in this condo for over 2 years (has it been 3 yrs? - possibly).

    We have a few issues with the condo at present.
    1) The air conditioner unit is QUITE old and it leaks coolant (in a slow leak).

    After complaining about the A/C unit not sufficiently cooling the place (it has never cooled my room, which is the master bedroom), we finally got the landlord to send someone out. He sent someone out a year ago, and at that time, it kinda worked better (he replaced the coolant and the filter, etc.) and recommended that the vent be fixed in my room since that was the problem why my room got no cool air. (The landlord said he'd do it - and never followed up).

    So this year, the landlord calls sometime on Friday (August 8th) and leaves a message on our home machine saying he'd like to have someone come out this weekend for the AC and please call him back. Well I got back late, so I didn't get the message unitl it was too late to return the call. (And my roommate didn't call him back since he addressed the message to me - I wrote him the letter saying he needs to fix some things).

    Next morning, I was busy doing things, and didn't feel like calling first thing when I got up. So when noon rolled around, and I was still in the middle of things (I think I was cleaning or something), he called again saying he wanted to schedule the AC guy for "7am tomorrow morning"...7am Sunday morning!!! And he wanted to know if that was too early! Too early? Uh, Yes! So then he offered 8am Sunday morning. Still too early we said. (By this time I had gotten Jill in on the conversation). Jill reminded me that it probably also would be beneficial if it was actually hot outside when the guy was working on the AC, so that he could see how the unit wasn't sufficiently cooling...and at 7 or 8 am in the morning, its still quite cool.

    At that point, when we told him that neither time would work (and I questioned what AC company, since I'm not used to having AC companies available on Sunday mornings...but I also work in commercial, not residential), he got all huffy and said "well, do you want me to get someone out there or not?". We said we do, but just not Sunday morning. So he said he'd try for Monday and call us back with a time. He set up an appointment for 3pm and called us to let us know. We said fine. At that point I planned to take a 1/2 day so I could be home when the AC guy (and my landlord) came over.

    On Monday the 11th, I went home early as planned. Good thing, cause my landlord called me just before I left work (he first calls our house landline, and then when he doesn't reach anyone, calls my work number - go figure, why he calls the house landline when its during normal work day hours!) to say that he wasn't going to make it in time for the AC guy, so he wanted to make sure that I'd be there. I told him yes, I was already planning on being there and was just about to leave work. He then said I'd have to pay the guy, since the AC guy would expect payment at the end of his visit, but then he'd repay me (when he showed up later). The AC guy showed up around when scheduled, fixed the AC unit (added coolant, replaced the filter, and fixed the vent to my room - so I FINALLY can get some cool air in there!) and I wrote him a check. About 5-10 minutes after he left, my landlord showed up. He had gotten the note the AC guy left, and I also reiterated what the guy had done to fix the unit. Then he wrote me a check to repay me for the check I wrote to the AC guy. (Yea!!!) I also mentioned that the AC guy highly recommended that the unit be upgraded...besides the many problems it has (like leaking coolant), its old and not energy efficient. My landlord said he's not going to do that until it completely breaks down and has to be replaced cause installing an new unit would 'involve doing structural work' to the condo to get it to fit, cause they're different shapes and more wires, etc. (Whatever!)

    Anyways, at least the AC now works so we can use it if/when we need to.

    So, on to an explanation of the 2nd item...

    2) There's a section of flooring in my bathroom, next to the shower, that is rotting away (caving in). I noticed the soft section upon moving in, so I made sure to write a letter and inform him of the problem. He did nothing about it. So, when I wrote my recent letter, I made sure mention that the problem is STILL there, and despite my best efforts to avoid the area, its getting worse. So as I'm on a 2nd floor, I'm obviously concerned about the integrity of the floor.

    At the time of the landlords visit on the 11th (when he repaid me for the AC guy's visit), I showed him the damaged section in the bathroom flooring. He said he was going out of town again, but would have someone come by soon to fix that.

    On the 12th, he called me at work to try to arrange when his handyman could come out...either the next day or the day after. And the handyman preferred to work evenings (after normal work hours). He conference called me in to the guy, and we eventually set up a time (between 6pm and 7pm) for Wednesday the 13th. Less than 24 hrs notice, but I managed to make it work so I would be there.

    The handyman arrived about a quarter to 7pm (just when I was in the middle of cutting up raw chicken, of course), and I showed him the damaged section of flooring. He said "yup, its definitely damaged" and caving in, and will need to be replaced, but he can't really see the extend of the damage until he pulls up the linoleum...which he wasn't authorized to do on this trip. It was just a 'see the damage' and 'get an estimate' of the work involved type of trip, apparently. He recommended that I get a piece of board (like plywood) to put over the area to distribute any weight more evenly. (He realized that while its all well and good to try to avoid the area, no one will remember ALL the time to avoid stepping there - which is so true!).

    After that visit, I didn't hear anything for a while.

    But then Saturday night, I get home from a Sewing Day at a friends house (after midnight) to find a message on the machine from my landlord. He wanted to have someone else come over to look at the damaged floor section on Sunday morning at 10am and to give him a call back if this was 'ok'. Well, since it was after midnight, I of COURSE did NOT call him back when I got the message. I went to bed. And in the morning, I sent him an email saying Sunday mornings do not work for either Jill or I as we both usually attend Church on Sundays. And I also told him I would be out most of the day (and that Jill was also gone).

    As I was just grabbing my last things to leave for church, I thought I heard the phone ring, but wasn't sure. (It's hard to hear the phone...or even the doorbell for that my bedroom). I was in a hurry to get to church (running late of course – hard to not be when I went to bed so late), so I left without checking to see if there was a message.

    I got home around 7pm on Sunday, and my roommate was home by then. She mentioned that the message was indeed from Fred, and she saw my email to the landlord on which I had copied her. I went into my room to set my stuff down, and went over to my bathroom…where I discovered that things were different than I had left them.

    The shower door was wide open, the bath mat (that covers the section of linoleum right next to the shower, including the damaged area) was pulled back towards the center of the floor, and the small fan that I have placed to blow into there for ventilation (cause its pretty enclosed and doesn’t ventilate that well), was moved. So I came out to tell my roommate, and she said that she had wondered if he had come in since the front door lock was different. Whenever she & I leave, we always lock the bottom lock before we close the door (so we pull shut an already locked door). Instead, the deadbolt was locked on the door – which we only do when someone is home (its easier to flip that when you’re inside). She said she didn’t put it past him that he let himself in while we were out when he couldn’t reach us.

    That just upsets us both since a) he needs to give us at least 24 hrs notice he wants access to the premises (which he didn’t…his original call/voice mail came after my roommate left on Saturday, which was sometime around 11am), b) we have the right to be present when he has access, and c) he is not allowed to enter the premises without our permission. (Jill is certain its illegal for him to do that – but we’re going to check up on the codes/find something to back up our claim that it was illegal before we send him an email telling him we don’t appreciate the less than 24 hr notice and letting himself in when he couldn’t reach us…and reminding him that its illegal to do so).

    That, in a nutshell, is why I’m upset!

    (Actually, writing this was very cathartic. So I am calming down at least. But I’m still upset enough to want to write him a strongly worded letter/email).

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Grandpa Art update (8/17/08)

    Another update on my grandpa...which is not so good, unfortunately.

     He has not been released from the hospital, as we were hoping, and it looks like he won't be released for a while. My aunt's email on his status update is below. (I removed the phone number & room number since I'm posting this online for a lot of people to read).


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------

    Date: Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 10:42 AM
    Subject: Art update 6

    Hi everyone,
    We were hoping that my Dad would be released from the hospital and placed in a skilled nursing facility today, but that is not going to happen.  Apparently he is losing blood and will be given a blood transfusion today.  The doctors will have to do some testing this week to figure out were the blood is coming from.  We have no idea how much longer my Dad will be in the hospital but its appears it will be for awhile. If any of you would like to give him a call, Sharp Memorial Hospital's phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx and his room number is xxx.
    Please continue to keep my Dad in your prayers.

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Another Slow Day at Work

    Today is another slow work day.

    Ho hum.

    Funny enough - ALL our partners are gone and most of our Leasing Agents/Property managers...which makes this place REAL quiet!

    A few of the admin staff here (me included) jokingly said that we should just call it a day...or at least order in lunch!

    Since things are SO slow right now, I'm quite distracted with thoughts of preparations and planning for my next Civil War event, which is coming up real fast. It's Labor Day weekend (in Huntington Beach's Central Park)! We've put a lot of planning into this event, we're working with some other groups on some scenarios that are going to be fantastically fun, and we're going to be HUGE once all our people and equipment is set up...its going to be a FANTASTIC event!

    I'm quite optimistic about it, at least.

    Thursday Movie Night (8/14)

    So yesterday, after a fairly boring day at work (except for the brief spattering of rain in the afternoon), I got the 'priviledge' of leaving early for a dental apponitment. (How fun for me). Anyways, it was just the average 6 month check up - nothing special. And fortunately that's all it remained. =) No surprises in store for me during my check up. (Whew!)

    Afterwards, I drove up to the Hensley's house to visit with them and have dinner. (Maegen and I had plans after dinner to start a Costume Drama called Cranford that set in England in 1842...we'll be attempting to finish it on Saturday during our Sewing Day =). So I get to their place, and Maegen is at the grocery store, so I hang out with Charlie and Rhiannon. Only thing - Rhiannon suddenly gets all very needy and clingly to daddy, which she usually doesn't do around me.

    But all is explained later. =) Maegen thinks that lately the last 3 or so people that have come over have been at the same time when Maegen had to leave for something (like Costume College) - so she's associating someone coming over = mommy leaving. Makes sense. (And makes me feel a bit better =).

    Eventually, she warms up to me (Yea!) and we're back to having a grand old time. (I tickle her and play with her, which she of course loves).

    And the best part of the night was watching her face when we threw on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1970s version) and it got to the 'Candy Man' song. Such a BIG smile on her face! And her attempts to sing along were so cute!


    Wish I had a video (or even a still shot) of that. =)

    What a nice way to end the evening.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    New Update on my Grandpa (8/13/08)

    Some good news! My grandpa's 2nd surgery went well, and though he'll still need to be in the hospital for another 3 days, he should hopefully be home soon.
    The email update from my aunt is below.


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 11:49 AM
    Subject: Art update 5

    Hi everyone,
    Praise the Lord the procedure went well yesterday. Though the left branch was tricky the doctor had no problem inserting the stent.  Yesterday was quite long.  They came and got him from his room around 12:30 P.M. and was placed in a holding room until 3:00 P.M. The procedure didn't take place until 3:30 P.M. which lasted about an hour.  Then he was in recovery for two hours therefore not getting back into his room until 6:30 P.M.  The doctor feels pretty confident that the left stent will work because the twigs leading into the left branch are still open unlike the right branch. The doctor says that he will still need to be in the hospital for another 3 days.  I will not be seeing my Dad today because I came down with a hum-dinger of a cold, but my Mom is going.
    Please keep my Dad in your prayers.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Grandpa Art update (8/12/08)

    Here's an update from my Aunt Jody about my Grandpa Art.


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 11:13 AM
    Subject: Art update 4

    Hi everyone,

    My Dad is still in Sharp Memorial Hospital and I have no idea when he will be released. Today at 1:00 P.M. they will be doing the procedure called ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) for the third time. This time the doctor will be inserting a stent in the left branch of the bile duct which the left side according to the doctor is tricky.

    Apparently the doctors only work one week at the hospital and then a new set of doctors rotate on for a week.One would have to be in the hospital for 5 weeks in order to see the same set of doctors. The doctor who did the last two procedures was Dr. Chu. The doctor who will do the procedure today is Dr. Wolson. Last Friday my Dad was given a private room, #854, and that is much better than the semi-private room that he was in before.

    Continue to keep my Dad in your prayers that the procedure will go well today and the doctor will be able to insert the stent in the left branch of the bile duct.


    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Update on my Grandpa (8/11/08)

    So, yesterday I called my aunt and got an update on the situation.

    My grandpa did (finally) have the surgery. (They pushed it back originally when the x-ray machine broke down after they had started the first time...and he wasn't still enough when he was lightly under, so they had to bring in an anesthesiologist.) So, now he has two stents inside him. (If you think of the oesophagusoesophagus near the bile duct valuve area - if I got the right spot - as a tree with branches, they put a stent in the 'trunk' section of the tree, and on the right 'branch'.)

    As of Sunday, they hadn't released him yet cause they were waiting to see how he was doing, and if they would need to put a third stent in. (In the left 'branch'). Most people only need two stents, but occasionally they need to put in the third one.

    So, hopefully he'll be released from the hospital soon, and he can recover at home...and then my grandma and aunt can get a bit more rest than they are getting now.

    Thursday, August 07, 2008

    Playful Becky (1920s close up)

    Pensive Becky
    Originally uploaded by sewgirljen

    Another fun/silly pose that I did on Orientation Night (Friday) at Costume College. This was shot in the Panic Room by Jen R. after I came up to visit and show off my new hat purchase (from the Marketplace). Isn't it a Fantastic Hat?

    Of course, I just LOVE hats.
    I try to wear them whenever possible.

    Becky posing 1920s style

    Becky posing 1920s style
    Originally uploaded by sewgirljen

    Just wanted to share a silly pose photo that I did. Of course, being me, I couldn't risk doing a 1920s-ish pose in my dress while someone was taking a photo of me.


    This photo is from Friday night at Costume College's Orientation Meeting (right after the meeting, actually).

    Wednesday, August 06, 2008

    Update on my Grandpa

    This info is compiled from two emails I received - one from my aunt (forwarded by my mother) and the other from my sister (who visited my grandma & aunt this afternoon). I'm going to try to call my grandpa later today at the hospital.

    From Jody’s Update (Wed 8/6):
    On Monday (8/4), Grandpa Art had an Ultrasound and CT scan, and the results were inconclusive. On Tuesday (8/5) he had a MRI and it showed he has cholangiocarcinoma (tumor either on or in the bile duct area of the liver -- aka bile duct cancer). The doctors say the only cure for this type of cancer is surgery.

    The problem with this type of cancer is that by the time it is usually discovered it has become inoperable (which is what has happened with my Grandpa). The doctors also say that Chemotherapy and Radiation are not effective for this type of cancer. This is a rare form of cancer in the U.S. (only 2,000 - 3,000 cases are diagnosed per year). The cause of bile duct cancer is unknown. And while hepatitis B,C, alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis can cause bile duct cancer, Grandpa doesn’t have any of those diseases.

    On Thursday (8/7) the doctor will be doing a procedure called ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). This procedure will enable the doctor to insert a stint into the bile duct so that the bile from the liver will be able to drain. Also the doctor will try to obtain some cells from the tumor to confirm their diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.

    From Sara’s Update (Wed 8/6):
    Sara went to visit our Grandma & aunt today at their house, but coulden’t see Grandpa because he’s still in the hospital. The procedure he was supposed to have today is postponed until tomorrow as an emergency came up for the doctor who will be performing the procedure.

    He is at Sharps Memorial Hospital on Gennessee off the 163 Freeway. He is currently sharing a room with another man on the cancer floor. (She gave us his room number and room phone number).

    When she left their house around 2:20pm, Grandma and Jody were on their way back to the hospital to spend some more time with Grandpa. And Grandpa’s brother Clair was on his way to meet them there.

    When they do the procedure tomorrow, they will try to remove some cells from the tumor so they can test them to confirm it is cancer and to see what stage it is at.

    Grandma said Grandpa is in good spirits and just keeps saying that whatever is God's Will will happen. He is not in pain except for some heart burn when he eats, but it is unrelated to the tumor.

    Assuming the procedure is tomorrow, Grandma said that she is expecting Grandpa to be home this weekend.

    Grandma is taking it harder than Grandpa so some extra prayers for her emotional state would be good.


    So, for those of you know me/my family (and are reading this), please keep my family in prayer the next few days.

    beginning to get in "Planning Mode" for Civil War Events

    So, now that its officially August, I'm switching to planning/prep mode as our group starts to get ready for our next big (offical) event...the Huntington Beach Civil War event on Labor Day weekend.

    Can I just say that We're Going To Be Huge, and it will be awesome! =)This should be a better event than last year (especially if the Civilian area *actually* ends up on the spectator map this year, like they're promising)! And we have a lot of 'stuff' planned for this event.
    On my lunch break today I called and ordered a new fire-pit ('company sized') for the group to use at this event. We're large enough we're going to need it...especially with our plans to cook a 'Presidential Dinner' for 16-20 people. (And I'd like to cook some stew for the rest of us at the same time).

    Now I just need to get in gear and sew a bunch of stuff (both for me and loaner clothing) so that we have it ready in time for this event.

    So much to do, so little time.=)

    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    sad news

    So I just found out (a moment ago) that my grandpa (dad's father), who doesn't have the greatest health and hasn't been doing too well lately, has an inoperable tumor that's on or near his liver. He goes in tomorrow to get a stint or something placed in him (to stop him from throwing up all the time, since the tumor is pressing up against some valve causing him to throw up a lot), but other than that...he pretty much has about a year or less to live.

    Depressing news.

    Knew he wasn't going to last forever, but still sad news to find out.

    Becky on Friday (8/1/08)

    Becky on Friday (Huge Tracts of Land T-shirt)
    Originally uploaded by marcailgaelyn

    Just had to share a photo of me wearing my Huge Tracts of Land T-Shirt from Think Oh, and I had great hair that day. (Really liked how it turned out).

    Four Roommates - Gala Night

    Costume College 19
    Originally uploaded by Maegen Hensley

    Here's a picture that Maegen took of the Four Roommates on Saturday Night (at the end of the Gala).

    Costume College 2008
    L to R: Becca Metzger, Jennifer Mulvey, Becky Thelin, & Jennifer Rosbrugh

    Costume College Orientation Night

    Costume College 1
    Originally uploaded by Maegen Hensley

    Here's a shot taken on Orientation Night (Friday night) of the four roommates (Jennifer Rosbrugh, Jennifer Mulvey, Rebecca Metzger & myself) along with our Dean, Martha Davis.

    Get Smart (Season 1 on DVD)

    So, for those of you unaware, I'm a HUGE fan of the original series of Get Smart. Yes, I am too young to have seen them when they first aired, but I did catch them in reruns on Nick At Night and loved it. Now I catch it (when I can) on PBS. It's always amusing to watch the antics of the agents working for Control and Chaos.


    Anyways, apparently, Season 1 of Get Smart is now on DVD! Hurrah!

    Back from Costume College (2008)!

    Ok, I'm back, and relatively well rested from this year's Costume College. I'll try to write up some of my experiences shortly and get pictures posted soon. (I at least got all the photos off my camera and onto a disc. That's something =).

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programing...