Sewing Nellie’s costume starts this week, with the help of my friends Diane and Audney. . .longing to get past “stuck” on this project!

Note that this is not stuck with the people inside- -if I didn’t have the balancing presence of Lily and 9 in my life right now I’d really be hurting.


Glad we can help.



And 9, I want to wish you a happy second 9-a-versay! You first made yourself known on May 5, 2020. I’ve got some frosted sugar cookies tucked away to celebrate with.* A mug of tea, too.


Tea is what I prefer.


Well I know it, Lily. If it were me, by myself, without the two of you, I probably wouldn’t want a snack of any kind. Today, I am too bummed for that.


What’s going on?


I’m stuck on thinking about all the horrible stuff in the news cycle, Lily, and I try not to pay attention to it at all but. . .


It’s raining, too, for three days straight. Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny. I was able to put away my heartache for a couple of very enjoyable hours outdoors, amending soil, planting tomatoes and carrots, and mowing the lawn. Now I’m having mild anxiety that all the seeds and seedlings will drown and I’ll be stuck with replanting.


Stuck in place and in time. Today, it feels like all avenues of escape are cut off. Which makes me think about the Ukrainian civilians who can’t get a safe escape corridor while a bunch of thugs- -yes, in my opinion they are thugs- -are bullying their way into their country.


Even with the rain falling in buckets, compared to those folks I have it easy. My problems are “First World” problems.


That does that mean?


It means, 9, that in industrialized, developed nations like ours, what we perceive as problems can have little to do with day-to-day survival. There is no moral reason for us to be safer and have more material prosperity than people in other parts of the world. Or for people in my position of white privilege (this includes the two of you, too) to somehow mysteriously get more of the good things- -education, health care, homes, vacations, enough to eat for crying out loud!- -than people who aren’t like us.



But people are people.


I think so, too, Lily, but sometimes- -lots of times- -when some people have more than others they con themselves into believing that they are somehow more deserving.


So what can we do to make the world a more equitable place?


We could share our frosted sugar cookies.


It’s a start, 9. But. . .sometimes even simple kindness is hard to come by these days. When people are afraid they tend to persecute and blame others. As down as I feel, I still believe that most people who treat others badly do so out of fear, rather than greed. Greed is for the powerful ones at the top of the hierarchies.


I respect your feelings, but this topic isn’t going anywhere. Can we talk about something else, please?



Thanks, Lily, I’ll try.


You know what I’m most afraid of?


Right now?

I’m most afraid of dead birds.



Hold that thought, 9, it will be at the top of our list for many years to come. Right now, though, I’m most afraid of what I’ve committed to do this evening.


Are you getting a shot?

Or going to an audition?


Don’t I wish! I’m meeting with two very kind friends for an evening of. . .sewing.


Yes, I’m still stuck on that! In my head the tape of “I can’t do this, I’ll totally screw this up” is playing over and over and over. The appointed hour is 6 PM.


I’m hoping it’s a surrogate fear, standing in for my worries about Ukraine, and Roe v. Wade (don’t get me started!) and a couple of thorny personal issues. With these bigger things, I feel helpless. I think a lot of us do right now.


Worse than it was with Nixon?


It seems so, 9, though at the time you and I knew he was the worst thing on ice.


Worse than a friend hurting your feelings?

Hot button item, Lily. Let’s not go there.


I hope women’s health rights remain intact. I hope Russia gets booted out of Ukraine in no uncertain terms. I hope the rain, both the outdoor kind and the kind inside of me, will stop.


And I hope, hope, hope, hope, hope that I don’t screw up my Nellie Gilliam Day costume tonight!


First World problem?


Decidedly, Lily. Decidedly.






Friday morning update: The sewing adventure turned out to be fun! My friends Audney and Diane conferred with each other about the pattern and set to work. I contributed a small amount of assistance, trimming the paper pattern pieces. Thankfully, Diane cut the fabric! By the end of our session the dress pieces were cut out. I blissfully left the materials at their house, to be continued next Tuesday evening. . .So, no longer stuck on that, and being able to release a surrogate fear has eased all the rest of it. Also, in regard to the rain, I simply decided to walk in it! After 45 minutes I was soaked to the skin. But so what? Because I really am intelligent enough to change into something dry.




*I write the blog on Thursday, so we’re a day behind when we go to press.

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