Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14, 2014

So, Christmas is almost here and I am pretty far behind on everything.  I got the tree up later than usual and the lights outside put up later than usual.  I don't even have my Christmas newsletter finished.  I started my Christmas cookie baking later than usual and have just been feeling very scattered.

Things have been nuts as usual with workdays, Star Wars events, and all of the things associated with Christmas.  I also spent a week pretty sick with my ulcers acting up and also another devastating cold/flu thing.  I am crawling out from under the sickness part but still have issues with my stomach.

So, for my prairie restoration thing, I did several workdays the past month.  One big one was the annual "Work Off the Turkey Workday" at Hickory Creek Barrens.  We also did a large workday at HCJ and got a lot done there.  Also there was work done at Hickory Creek LaPorte Road Access.  Slowly but surely we are attacking invasives from all ends of Hickory Creek Preserve so the hope is that there will be less and less seed of invasive species being spread at the site as a whole.

I did a whole lot of Star Wars events the past month.  In addition to actual "appearances", I hosted two costume workshops at my house.  I pulled out a whole bunch of stuff on sewing, leatherworking, sculpting, molding and casting.  Both workshops were well attended and I think a lot was accomplished.

On 11-23-14 I headed to Brookfield Zoo to do our Nar Shaddaa Base tree trim.  Steve M. had purchased a tree in the name of the Base and a bunch of us went to the Zoo to decorate it.  I had been working on home-made ornaments the past several weeks to use on the tree.  It is always complicated by the fact that the ornaments must hold up outside in rain and snow and must be shatterproof.  They must also be something that no one wants to  Years ago when we did our first tree, mostly all of the ornaments got stolen.

11-27-14 brought the Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Chicago.  As in the previous years, I headed to the CTA Forest Park Blue Line station early in the morning to meet up with other SW costume members and we headed downtown for the big parade.  According to the weather reports, this was the coldest Thanksgiving Day in 35 years.  It was cold downtown, but the "stand around" time went quickly and we did our march down State Street in the 64th position in the parade.  After the parade, I made my way back to the CTA Forest Park station and then on to sister Joan's for Thanksgiving dinner.  Gotta LOVE turkey!  I should make turkey of my own, but it is just a lot of work. 

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On 12-2-14 (Tuesday) I headed to Lurie Children's Hospital for an event.  It was a very complicated day.  It started out VERY early in the morning with the sister of our host coming to my house so I could try to fit her with one of my costumes.  We also loaded up Artoo which ended up to be a huge challenge because she could not get the liftgate down on the Blazer she picked me up with.  I was having a lot of trouble with my stomach and felt "off" though I didn't have any other symptoms.  I kind of stayed back when it came to visiting the kids at the hospital because I just didn't feel right.  Anyway, we were a huge hit at the hospital and met so many brave kids and their parents.  It is heartbreaking to see those little kids facing such horrible diseases and going through all that nasty treatments.  

12-7-14 found me in Bridgeview doing the annual Toy Con Charity show for Children's Treasure Chest for Pediatric Oncology.  I was feeling really sick at that point, I had contracted something the day after the Lurie event and was sick the rest of the week leaving work early each day as I just could not make it through the day.  So, since I was feeling sick for the ToyCon event, I didn't wear a costume.  That is something I don't think I have ever done is to show up to an event not in costume.

Yesterday I headed out to Cantigny Park for our annual Toys for Tots event.  I try to make this event every year and was not going to do it this year, but found that I had the time and with gasoline being so much less expensive, I was able to get there.  I wore my Imperial Gunner costume for a change.  It is one costume that I don't wear often.  There was a time that the flightsuit for this costume was so tight it was uncomfortable to wear.  I am pleased to say that the suit fit much more loose yesterday and the costume was very comfortable to wear. 

I ended up also with a new position in the Star Wars Universe of costuming,  I was appointed the LMO of the Rebel Legion.  That position takes a LOT of time and has many challenges....I hope I can do a good job of it.