Sunday, June 26, 2005

How to really avoid working

Introducing Angie Lullie

I met with my friend and fellow quilt artist Anne Lullie for coffee at Panera Saturday morning and we discussed having her artisticly inclined daughter, Angie, work for me this summer.

This meant rousing Angie at 10 am!! Oh yes, she is a fifteen year old and you who have been fifteen remember that sleeping in was a way of life. It is beastly hot this week and the Lullie air conditioner hadn’t yet been engaged (Joe!!) so mornings are especially lovely for sleeping. Those lazy Summer days are over for Angie, now that I have my hands on her little (big as me) self.
She is now my (slave) paid apprentice and has learned how to prep a dye day, tearing the fabric into half yard pieces, presoaking it, spinning it out and

pleating the fabric, mixing the dyes

and direct application, ala The Lazy Dyer.

I am paying her by the day and I look forward to 12 days of work from her before she returns to her sophomore year in high school in the fall. She will dye all the kits I need for my workshops and I will dye the Special Editions, thus cutting my dye workload in half. What a good idea this is, no?

In addition to that, I plan to offer art instruction and evaluations, with a few treats thrown in, which will help to reduce the overabundance of my art supplies that remain untouched over these many years of collecting. She has an incredible ability already to reproduce imagery from photographs but as we all know that it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to becoming an artist, in the original creative sense. NOT to diminish her capabilities, however.
Get a load of this!

These are renderings from magazine photos done in graphite and colored pencil. She handles the medium expertly, don't you agree? Did I mention she is only 15???
I gave her a pad of good drawing paper and an assignment to create a drawing from a still life she must set up, and make all the objects white (no matter their actual color) and then make all the contours and shadows multicolor. I am going to post this homework for your enjoyment when it is available.

O what a wonderful day Saturday was! Getting a student/apprentice with so much enthusiasm and ability, plus being a very quick learner and hard worker. It renews my faith in the younger generation.

Add to that this wonderful happening...Thursday I had many errands to run, the last one being a bit of grocery shopping. I wear a dinky purse on a string, the kind you get for free at quilt shows, to hold your class registration nametag, a few bucks, credit cards, and some pencils. It is all I really want to lug around with me, being anti-purse. For some dumb reason I removed this pocket purse from my neck and left it in my shopping cart. I didn't notice it was gone until Friday, and after looking all around the house (in the garbage and the bottom of the laundry bin) I realized that I must have left it at the store, so I called and well, NO GOT. Damn.

I cancelled my credit cards and gloomily looked forward to replacing all the other important stuff that one brings along. Luckily my check book and driver's license were not in the purselette. But my library card was in there, and O the Library Gestapo in my little town library were not going to be amused.
But wait! There was a message on my answering machine on Saturday afternoon from the grocery store, saying they had something that belonged to me.

Could it be??
Yes! I retrieved my pursepocket and apologized for being a moron, again, (they all know me) and discovered every single thing was still intact. Including $73.41, my punch cards from the copy place, credit cards, and my precious library card! One of the cart kids found it and turned it in. How very lovely! Sigh.

But wait there's more! This is more of a long story than we have attention span so I will get right to the point.
My DH Dave has made the difficult decision to apply for disability and came home Thursday with the doctor's paperwork, which we took to the store manager at his home store and picked up a ream of forms for him to fillout (I'll do it really) and that will start the long and involved process of (finishing this sentence?) going on permanent disability.

While he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease for thirteen years, it has been a very slow progression until recently. Now every movement is a struggle, which he describes as feeling as though he were bound up with bungee cords. He was a meatcutter for a large grocery chain for 31 of his 50 years and that's enough. He knew this day would eventually come, but it would always seem to have been too soon. The stress of not being able to keep up with the other men, and knowing he was able to be a speed demon just a few years ago, made working so difficult. Plus the system has changed and there are fewer workers so everyone must travel to different stores to fill in on days off, for vacations, and sick days. He never knew which store he would be at the next week, and each change meant explaining his difficulties and just plain feeling bad.

So now that is over. There will be an adjustment, but truthfully, I am so relieved and happy that this day has come. I want him to enjoy these good days stress free, really living to the hilt, out of the constant cold (45 degrees, every day can really get to you) without the danger of driving in rush hour traffic with his vastly decreased reaction time, and in an environment of support and love.

Dave, looking forward to Happily Ever Aftersville


  1. Mrs. Mel: I'm so happy that things are working out for you and Dave. It will be hard (guy ego and all), but I'm sure you'll both settle into a way of life that will work well for you. Tell Dave that there are positive vibes going his way across the web.

  2. Lot going on in your life right now, Mel... I'm glad you found your wallet and got an new assistant - she's cute and talented too! Probably now you've both made the decision to file for disability, you'll feel better about it rather then have that hanging out there, I hope anyway, Who know, maybe after he retires, Dave will want to take up the new job of dye assistant, could be fun! Good thoughts going your way as always.

  3. hugs dahling on making a tough decision but I know with your warm open heart this will be easier for Dave....the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about is now gone leaving lots of space to fill with wonderful time.

  4. How wonderful to find a willing, enthusiastic, and talented assistant! Oh, what a dream to have you for a mentor at the age of 15!

    I'm feeling for Dave--a big step, a difficult situation to face, but probably much relief, too. You two clearly need to move to California where it's warm and you can hang out with Pointless women!

  5. Wow, that was a looong post. So much to think about. It was difficult for my husband to adjust to retirement and I think disability would be even more of a mind game. So I wish you both the best as you begin this next phase of your life.

  6. A toast you and Dave - let the new music begin.

  7. Hi there Mel,
    I just wanted to say 'hang in there' - both of you... I have tossed over in my mind all the right things say -but most of them have already been said in the previous messages... But quite often the best things happen after we turn the 'worst' corner... I hope that doesn't sound too trite... Yes, the next months are going to be life changing for the both of you... But as an old friend of mine keeps telling me - that is the way of Life - ever changing, offering surprises and definetely challenges...

    My continuing best wishes to you both...

  8. It's interesting that this appeared today as the story on Baja California and all the people moving there was on CBS Sunday Morning again today. I am not much on hot weather but, my experience has been that it is much more comfortable living on the ocean in the path of the tradewinds. I know you two were considering this move.

    Your assistant is very lucky you both are to have found each other.

    I know you and Dave will enjoy your increased time together. You two are such a good team.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  9. Dear Mel, your story brings back painful memories of my own husband's stint with disability. He's still on it, but the first six months were the hardest. If I had any advice it would be tell him to keep on a schedule. Anyway, your story brings to mind that old saying 'where the Lord closes one door he opens a window.' I'm happy for you as you enter this new phase still looking on the bright side. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Robin

  10. Angie rocks! I remember being artsy at 15. That's 1/2 my life ago now, lol! It's always nice to have someone else recognize and encourage it in you. Glad you found your wallet. Just goes to show that there are still decent honest folks out there int he world.

    As for Dave, I'm sure this will be quite the transition for both of you, but now you can both breathe easier about a lot of things. Now you'll have all sorts of new adventures to get yourselves into!

  11. I love Dave's head.

    Angie is superfantastic and I can't wait for my god daughter to grow up so I can have my own assistant (slave).

    The purselette rescurer...wonderful. I hope that you rewarded him. Humanity isn't horrible all of the time.

    I also love Dave's goatee. I have no idea if this is spelled correctly and don't actually care because I doubt that I will ever have to write it again. Dave and Townsend are tint and shade versions of one another.

  12. Tint and shade. I love that. Isn't that Sonji clever? I'm celebrating for you and Dave. Jeff and I often found that the decisions that seem so complicated and difficult eventually become quite clear and natural. That's the point at which you can really grow into new opportunities.

  13. With an assistant and no meat slicer, you can both let go of the 'shoulds.' Best thing I ever learned about my own disability - ditch the 'shoulds' and grab the 'cans!'

    Best wishes to both of you!

  14. Hoping the transition will be trouble-free, enjoy each other and a glass of wine

  15. Wishing you and Dave a happy transition, and hoping so much that things will be eased in your new life.
    Your new assistant looks talented and capable, and she is lucky to have you as her very own mentor. Jen


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com