We traveled round trip 450 miles today to get mom. The roads were good. Slid a couple times on the ice. Scary, black ice on curvy, narrow mountain roads. But the drive was beautiful. Mom's house was a wreck. The worst I have ever scene it since us kids left. She is very depressed. I am not sure at this point what to do. We can't get my brother and his son out and the have destroyed the upstairs. She just cries and cannot let go. She feels if she has a restraining order put on them she will lose her son. The problem was she lost that son years ago and just does not realize it. I feel bad for her and I am at a total loss as to what to do. She will stay here for about 10 days, but I really don't want her going back until the brother is out of the house. She talked to a girl friend and was telling her that the last three weeks have been awful. Brother has been yelling, screaming, throwing terrible fits, he has her other set of car keys and takes her car every night even though he has no license. If he is caught driving the car it will be impounded. She has jewelry missing. I packed up all that I could when we left. He and his son have terrible battles and then the son comes down and begs mom to throw his father out. I have to laugh in a way because we spent our childhood begging mom to do something about this brother, then our teenage years avoiding his temper and all of my married life trying to get her to see his horrible behavior and she will not stand up to him. He has told her he will never leave that house, it is his and he has it by squatters rights. Without her permission to do something against him we cannot help her. She does not want to sell the house but that is what she will have to do.
We are going to look at houses here tomorrow. But I am afraid they will end up here. Can she keep them out here? Such a dilemma.
Came home and ran to the studio as we have a big performance tomorrow. Advanced classes will do Thriller and the Corpse Bride tomorrow at the Pumpkin Festival Downtown. I must be at the studio at 10 to start makeup on 18 kids. I also had 2 homecoming dresses I had to finish tonight when I got home. They are done a steamed and I am letting them dry.
My arthritis seemed to be in remission. It would flare once in a while but it really was controllable. I was still running almost everyday and having the shop open was really helping our cash flow. Things were by no means perfect, but I was trying to be more responsible, with my home and money. I was still way to busy. Every year our director at the the University would threaten to close the Lewiston school. Just so many problems with teachers and staff. So because I needed the job and I wanted a good dance education for my girls I had taken it upon myself to take care of all of the problems. Flooding, I cleaned it up, lights burned out, I got a ladder and replaced them. Studio too small , I negotiated with the land lord to give us a small apartment and found a contractor and worked with him for no pay to make a small studio.
It was darling and we used it every day. I remember pulling a closet jamb out of the wall with a crow bar. The entire jamb came out and I was off center so I stumbled and stepped on the jamb and a nail went through the ball of my foot. Because I have had a few surgeries on the foot I have spots with no feeling. I drug this board over because I could not get it off my foot. The old contractor that was working with me had to stand on the board so I could pull. Then it hurt. White tennis shoe immediately filled with blood. I then had to go get a Tetanus shot which was a bummer as I had so much heavy lifting and carrying to do to finish the studio and my arm was much more sore than the stupid foot. Good times.
Because I was an excellent seamstress/designer I made most of the costumes. I was so stupid. They just took such advantage of me. My Celtic program continued to grow and so did my classes. I really loved my director but she could not handle the stress of running the organization. She ended up with breast cancer and her house burned it was just a bad year. We were without a director for a year and back with the original founder who I believe was senile. It was such a mess. I just continued to try and hold things together the best I could. We would have these rehearsals for show 30 miles away up a terrible winding road in horrible snow storms. We would rehearse all day to jell the show and often well almost always my routines were done and rehearsed and the (PROFESSIONAL) dancers things were a mess. I always assumed that people who had spent their lives dancing would know how to teach and choreograph. Not the case. It is very unusual to be able to do all three. I was so naive. My directors would come whisper to me, "Kim wold you please go over and fix that group, help(Bertha, Mark, Alison, Jeff or who ever happened to be the professional of the year) get that movement together. I had a way of suggesting and helping without making them feel that I was taking over. I would always acquiesce to their judgement while suggesting something that might work. I became very good at this. To the point that with in a few years I was doing almost all of the work for major productions and when the show was up and running, my name was on the back cover with seamstresses.
Now I have never been one to want the spotlight (that was my sister) I have always been content to stay backstage and sew costumes and do the grunt work. I often would write a show for a small rural school or go in and direct for a poorer parochial school and I would always say. " but please do not put my name on the program." "But why", they would ask? "I don't need the advertisement, I am too busy as it is." I was serious when I said things like that. However the parents of the students that drove up the hill would be furious at their treatment of me. It really was the parents that wanted to be done with the University that made me think I should branch out on my own. I am stupid and very loyal. I also did not want to own a dance studio. I still had my youngest in grade school. A dance teacher leaves home at 3 and comes home at 9. She puts her love and devotion into her students. I remember one of my favorite teachers whose daughter came up to me when I was in High School and said, "My mother loves you more than she loves me." I never wanted my kids to feel that way.
We finally got a new director and she was a blond sorority bimbo. Now I do not have anything against blonds, or sororities. But imagine the worst cheerleader, self absorbed personality, barbie doll drip you can ever run into and double it and you will have my new director. She had no theater or stage background, I do believe she had taken some dance as a child. She had a degree in business finance and could promote and advertise well. I knew that money was always a big issue in the arts and the Universities program was floundering. My parents hated her. Most people who met her, hated her. I decided I would give her the benefit of the doubt. She was very good at balancing the books. Which was great. But she wasn't going to do it on my back. I was tired of being taken advantage of, and being used. I did not feel that she was honest. I explained to her my medical condition and that I wanted to avoid some stressful situations. She just did not get it. After working with her for a year, I knew I needed to leave. But our Oldest was graduating from Law School and she had been running a huge Irish Program for these people at the University of Washington's sub program. Our Second daughter was graduating from High school and was teaching also. I just did not feel the time was right, or I chose to ignore the signs.
Oldest moved to Boise to join her boyfriend and take pre law school exam courses. She was set to take the bar in July. She lived with hubbies folks and studied. D#2 and I taught all the summer workshops even the ones that Oldest usually taught. We were busy, my arthritis started to flare on the last workshop. I told bimbo(new director) that I would need help. It was a Cat in the Hat theatrical dance workshop, which involved a lot of crafts and costumes. I would need help cutting and sewing as one of my arms was braced. She said she would make sure I had help. I remember leaving her office and walking down the corridors of the P.E. building to the dance studio and I got a distinct feeling that I was to turn around and give notice. But I was afraid. I ignored this warning and it would come back to a haunt me for years. I received no help and the workshop was a huge success. She wanted to take the kids to a farmers market to performs so she could beat up enrollment. I told her I did not live in this town and I was busy she would have to do that herself. So she did, and then took credit for all my work. She also bought a big sound system from a store used it once for the performance and took it back as she really did not need it. Now is that something you do in front of kids?
In the mean time D#2 decided she was going to try out for a productions of "CATS". She had always wanted to play Victoria the white cat. I did not mind. All of the girls have great voices. ( Did I tell you that my twin sissie is/was an opera singer?) Not a big deal except she got the part and told the director( an old Broadway legend whom I am scared to death of) that I would make her costume. Okay fine what is one little cat costume, when I just got done with 24 Cat in the Hat costumes? I ordered a white turtleneck unitard and sprayed a yoke of white glitter pant on the chest. I also sprayed the same paint on the thighs to give her definition. I took an old pair of pantie hose and made a skull cap and then took white fir and cut it into random pieces and sewed it on the cap. I formed ears and it looked just like a cat wig. I got a couple of different kinds of white yarn and loomed long white furry leg warmers and hand spats. The tail was a white feather boa and I added a pink ribbon covered with glued on Rhine stones at her neck. Throw in some white jazz boots , took it to the theater done! About a week into rehearsal I get a call from the (Broadway legend) director who asks me to just sit in on a costume meeting with a committee. I don't have to do anything just sit in.
This meeting is held on a Sunday afternoon, which right away throws me off as I don't like to work on Sundays. So I meet at this huge really beautiful rich woman's house with all these stuffy, artsy, fartsy people to discuss costumes. Now some of these women have parts in this production and of course they want fabulous costumes. Well there is no budget. They have a book of the original production and they want this and that. I finally after 2 hours of getting no where ask, "How many of you can sew". One of them raises her hand. I then explained that they needed to make 36 different cat costumes, with no budget and in a very small town with out any real theater or sewing supplies. What they wanted was out of the question and could not be done. The one woman that sewed suggested that she and I each take 7 costumes that was 16 including her and D#2's would be done. The rest would need to be done by the committee. We would help over see and teach them how to use a crochet loom and put together a wig. To make this long story shorter, I did my share and so did the other woman, with whom I became great friends. We were three days to open and none of the other costumes were finished. We had taken the hardest costumes. What In HE#$ was going on? The poor director looked like he was going to have a stoke. My new friend and I stay up for three days and got every single one of the those damn things done. I would start to cry and she would comfort me and then she would start to cry and I would comfort. It went on like this with a lot of diet coke.
The morning the show opened, we had both gotten a few hours of sleep. I had a queen sized bed in the shop and when I came downstairs here she was asleep with a crochet hook in her hand. We still had all the rat and mouse heads to do for one scene and I was so tired and mad. I was really MAD! So I went for a run to calm down. I felt that 5 miles on the track would give me a new perspective. When I got home, I noticed that the light was flashing on my answering machine. Who would call this early in the morning and leave a message? It was the oldest daughter and she had passed the bar so had her boyfriend! All of a sudden I did not care about my problems or lack of sleep or my aggravation with rich bitchy women that don't have a clue, I was just so happy. You see it is perspective, and I could have had 10 more costumes thrown at me and I still would have been on cloud nine. Even better that night after the show opened and it was a smash success, I got a late call from D#1 she had something very sparkly on her finger, her boyfriend had proposed. I heard her go into her grandparents room and wake them up to tell them. It was just so darn cute.
Gots to go to bed.
Have a good night.