Friday, November 5, 2010

Hitting the fan

We have major issues right now, with two locations and with one actor, and I went to bed near tears and woke up whiffly and wobbly. I am toxic-ed and hurting and fighting the physical and spiritual dragons. If only I had my horse and lance and armor here in Spokane!

During JourneyQuest, and during every other show I have done in Seattle, I came home to Terry almost every night, and so I was stronger. I feel a bit exposed here, despite the joy of seeing my dream made reality, despite the INCREDIBLE crew that I already adore, and the perfect cast straight from God.

Terry just said to me on the phone that I am the strongest person he knows and that I can do this. I love him so much.

I guess this is like the dress rehearsal that goes very very wrong to make a great opening night . . . right?

Clinging to Madeleine's words that nobody in the Bible was qualified to do the job God called them to . . .

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pre-Pro is Really Heating UP!

We have made offers to most of our cast now, and have been waiting literally weeks for the principals to have their agents hash out things to the point where we can sign things. I am really trying not to bite my fingernails totally to the bone but it is very difficult. I want them to sign NOW!!!!

Sigh. We begin filming this show in ten days.

Had a beautiful rainy weekend with my family - JourneyQuest screening at StrowlerNights and a great Hallow'een dinner with Mom at her house while Thee was walking that block, then Theo and Pam did the Nolte block while Terry drove me to the airport. I am getting to know the Spokane airport very well.

Theo wore Tallis' armor and was a Knight. Sniff. Really fun to see it recycled.

Now my awesome DP, Mike Vukas, and I have finished our Shot List, and I have finished my Featured Extras casting, and I need still to finish my Blue Pages for the script and lock the Script Days and meet with the department heads and finalize the music and choreography and look of the jazz club hopefully today . . . just another day in the Production Office . . .

Meanwhile Tony and Kat, next door, are trying to figure out how the heck they are moving the second half of our shoot over one day to accommodate one of our actors' schedules . . . La dee dah . . .

And so it goes.

I am on the cut-off and lonely side of things emotionally - really miss my guys.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day Four of Casting

Sitting in the hotel in New York about to go to bed after my fourth day of casting, in my third state this week. And I am praying HARD that the cast we have chosen accepts the offers that will be going out in the next few days, with every cell of me. I just cannot describe the astonishment with which I saw brilliant actor after brilliant actor of all ages come into the room (several of them met me on Skype too!) . . . just flabbergasting how many extremely trained and talented folks are interested in our little film. I can't describe it. It is unprecedented in my experience.

Larry was with me in L.A. and Charlotte was with me in NYC, and oh how wonderful it was to be able to bounce opinions off of them.

Today we saw film and Broadway royalty, last week we saw film and TV royalty, and my heart is full of inexpressible joy. May every actor who blessed us with his or her talent be richly blessed. I love every one of them. Their graceful and generous gifts to me will always be remembered.

Also my weekend visit in Williamstown was strange but wonderful as I sat around backstage at Tallis' "Trojan Women" 10-out-of-12 techs. He managed to fit in a few wonderful meals too. All in all a wonderful reconnection with my adult boy punctuated by gorgeous drives through the Berkshires.

This morning I had an amazing dream about Madeleine, in a room liked with books, a wonderful dream indeed and I hope a good omen.

Tomorrow I get up at 5 am and go to LGA to fly to Spokane and put in half a day with my team there.

Good night and may God bless all actors!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Update - Tal is Sprung!

The story:

Terry sprung Tallis from Beth Israel and drove him to Williamstown, where he is beginning to hobble about the campus on either a cane or a walker, depending upon his pain level. He is on both oral morphine and one other narcotic (did Terry say Percoset??) - great for studying Biology and Greek and for remembering lines . . . not. This morning Terry magically procured a cancellation at the Williamstown rheumatologist, where Tallis got a Humera (sp?) shot to try to calm down all the inflammation. As far as I know he is still going to hobble through "The Trojan Women" which opens in a week or so with or without him. Terry will be flying home tonight or tomorrow, and after my L.A. casting sessions this week I fly to Williamstown next weekend (was already scheduled to) to go to Tallis' "First-Year Parent Weekend" and attend his classes and watch him do technical rehearsals for the show. IF he still is in it. Then I do some NYC casting on Monday and fly back to Spokane, where my team will be in high gear, as we will be three weeks out at that point.

Theo is safe and well at the Nolte's House, and many folks have helped hims have a good few days, including Ginger and Rosh and Mom and her ladies. We really cannot believe how folks have stepped in to bless all four of us. God bless our friends!!!!!

I am nervous this morning as I prepare to meet some very prominent actors who are doing me the honor of reading for my movie. Some of them are actually heroes of mine. I am in a state of utter thankfulness and flabbergast at the chance to see this beautiful story of Madeleine's realized at last. But sooo much depends upon me casting it well.

If you feel so led, please pray for the actors, that they will do well, and for me, that I will have divinely-inspired discernment. I am humbled and nervous when faced with this task. But I am comforted by the fact that Madeleine always used to say that NOBODY in the Bible except Jesus was ready for the task they were asked to do. Mary was a child. Moses had a stutter. Gideon was hiding in the grain bin shaking when the angel called him a "mighty man of valor". I am clinging to her wisdom right now.

May angels attend this week of auditions and hallow the process!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tallis STILL in Hospital

They finally finally did Tallis' MRI late yesterday after a three day delay due to bad pain management. And then it wasn't that definitive because they missed a section . . . we are so spoiled with Seattle hospitals!

They found a tear in his "Labrum", the cartilage cover on the ball of his hip joint, but the orthopedist said that probably is not the problem as those happen often with no symptoms. They say the want to treat the Spondylitis first and then worry about that. But how to treat it?

Terry and Tallis are working on an adaptation of "Waiting for Godot" called "Waiting for the Doctor Who Never Ever Comes". Terry is trying to figure out how to spring Tallis out of the Third World Country that is a New York City Hospital and drive him up to school. They gave Tallis a walker today to facilitate this. Hard to use that onstage though . . .

In other news, I had a great work day reviewing tapes of actors, very encouraging, and a great meeting with the team re: the Staten Island Ferry shoot.

Am very tired.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prayers for My Kid PLease

Tallis has now been in Beth Israel Hospital for days on a morphine drip - they can't figure out why his Spondylitis is flaring up like this - he literally can't walk because of the screaming pain.

I am heartbroken to not be able to go, but am comforted that Terry flew to NYC after three days of hearing the stoic reports from the hospital bed, and the fact that Tallis' MRI has been delayed for two days. Our wonderful friend Sandy was "parent in situ" until Terry could get there.

I am needed here quite a lot . . . scouting continues and we have three precious days with Larry now as he was able to get away for a little bit of pre-pro.

Fingers crossed that Terry can be of help to the poor guy, all I can do is pray and bake cookies to send. I made three batches last night after work, and now am trying to find a Spokane post office. Not that it helps. But I had to do something . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

Difficulties (of Course!)

Things are going well here in Spokane; I just had a great conference call with current department heads for an hour, so my third week of living here (fourth of work) is starting off well professionally.

However, the attacks in the physical realm are many. My Mom is fighting an Undefined Thing that results in newish symptoms and a two-week delay on the chemo (agh), my son Tallis just called from Beth Israel Hospital in New York City where he is currently on a gurney with "the worst pain of his life" from his Ankylosing Spondylitis, my brother is of course still completely AWOL, and I have a nasty cold, (the least of these things by far of course!).

The weekend was mixed; it was great to spend the day Saturday with Mom and to go see a movie and have dinner at our house covered with cats - I also interviewed her about her baldness for "Hairstory". Theo was ... mad at me ... not that that is normally infrequent, but it broke my heart to leave him and to leave Terry as I won't be home at all now for three weeks.

I am feeling vulnerable and cut off from home. I know I am supposed to be doing this, but I want to be at several bedsides right now - thank God Hilary is with Tallis in the NYC hospital. But Mama wants to be at that bedside . . .

If you have some prayers for physical bolstering of the family that would really be appreciated.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two Weeks Into My Spokane Residency!

I am sitting in the North by Northwest Studio Production Office at my desk by the window looking out over Broadway, in Spokane, WA. My desk has a picture of the Four Moores, a picture of Mom, Madeleine and Dad, a picture Ben made me of Orcas, and a postcard for "The Dark Horse" - I need to stick a "JourneyQuest" one there too and then I will have the perfect collage. (If you are interested in the project my company collaborated on with two other companies this last year, please view and share our free webseries freely!

I have been living here in Spokane for two weeks now, as I am directing my feature film "Camilla Dickinson" - I have to be in Spokane on work days. I fly home each Friday night. It is odd, but it is sort of working for Terry and me, as he is about to start rehearsals for "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol" at Taproot. I miss being in Theo's and Terry's and Mom's daily lives more, but all of them are really pulling for this movie to succeed, most especially Mom, who rather insisted that I not stop working and that I go ahead and direct it now, when the studio has a window. So, with a lot of guilt and a lot of joy and several daily check-in calls, I am doing it. I really can't believe that I am actually here, getting to do this, after so many years of trying to put this together.

For the last two weeks I have been doing a lot of location scouting with Vince DeFelice the Production Designer, as well as meeting with potential Directors of Photography and Choreographers. In the last couple of days I have met with other Department Heads, to try to begin the prep work that will hopefully pay off in the long run. At this point we are five weeks from Principal Photography, and it kind of feels like five minutes, since we have to create 1948 Manhattan in Spokane, WA!

I am deeply honored and blessed to be here, doing this right now. I am very aware of the impossible privilege of finally getting to sit in this chair again.

Re: Mom's cancer treatment: she is doing much better, which is so fantastic that none of us can fully believe it! She continues her chemo treatments every two weeks or so (depending on her white cell counts which have been really great lately), and her energy and attitude are better, for much of the time, than they have been.

She is in treatment until further notice, and Doctor Kaplan is monitoring her continued progress as she beats this cancer.

No she does not have hair. Which is par for the course! That is one reason that I put so many pictures of her with hair up on this site - she is not fond of wearing hats or scarves ("too hot!") but also is not fond of pictures of her bald head, so I am trying to honor that.

I have managed to be at all but two of Mom's chemo Fridays so far, but now alas those days are over - she goes in tomorrow with Cathy, which is fine of course as Cathy and Teresa ROCK! I am just sad for myself, because I love those sweet times just sitting with her and visiting or dozing, with no agenda and no time pressure.

In the weeks before I left town, Mom and Cathy and Teresa and I went to the mountains on a fabulous botanizing trip, and to a horse show, which was great fun. This Saturday Mom and Theo and I may go to a movie. It is a weird life, but we are making it work. I try to call her twice a day and check in, but I really wish I could be home more - and write in here more! And of course when I do get home, I am covered with cats and needing to attend to a very needing-to-see-me 12 year old.

Things continue to improve, and Mom may indeed be headed for a remission; if you think of it please send good thoughts that that is the outcome! She is still on a lot of Lasix for the heart failure, but so are many people in their 80s, and we are hopeful to get that under control as well.

Back to pre-production! *happy dance*

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In Case You Are Not Following Mom's Blog . . .

Some awesome news - the chemo is actually WORKING!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Theo is 12!

Theo had a great birthday with the Seattle Knights, who let him shoot them and then fought each other in fine form!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hack, hack

Mom's site, above, is where I am blogging these days.

These days I am totally confused as to how to:

- Get well from my week-and-a-half of hacking bronchitis

- Take care of my Mom, which I have barely been able to do during that time

- Take care of my husband and kids, whom I have barely been helpful to, since I spend much time in bed and am wan when I get up

- Do my job of trying to be a partner to my hardworking business partners at Kairos Productions as we do Very Important Things right now

- Occasionally see a horse (ha!)

- Get ready for Theo's 12th Birthday party with kids this Saturday in this filthy filthy house

- Have a minute or two to pray or cry as needed. I had to miss the Cancer Caregivers Support Group today due to hacking. Again.

None of this is working out very well. I am not amused.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blogging on the CaringBridge Now

I am updating Mom's Caringbridge site nearly daily. Cause that is what I am doing, now.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back in the Hospital Tonight

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Went Riding Today!!!

Mom kicked me out this afternooon, as her Two Marilyns were there, and I actually got to ride my old friend Tjeerd for several hours!!! Oh what a celebration to see that horse again; it has been 4 years. We had to sell him in 2006, and what a joy to see him doing so well. I had forgotten what a darling he is on the trails. Fun fun rangy big trail walk!

Mom is asleep now, I should go to bed too, as I stay up late habitually, and her 7 am breakfast comes awfully early (do not goof off in your MMO Corrie! Go to bed!).

She told me tonight that it was very strange to her that her mother died of breast cancer at 80, and now she and Aunt Jocey both have cancers at nearly-85 and 87 (they will turn those ages in August). Her cancer seems way more scary than Jocey's, though Jocey's is, at the present time, more uncomfortable. She spoke of a 91-year-old friend and said that she certainly would not make it that long, and I said "well, you never know" . . . lamely. Sigh.

I should be able to sleep tonight after all the great exercise. Hope so, I am still re-learning sleep patterns after all that constant startling at the hospital.

I need to get back to the gym. For many reasons:)

There should be some news here soon in the world of Kairos Productions *tantalize, tantalize* but I can't say anything yet *giggle*.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mom's New Blog, Caringbridge

Those who love and support my Mom, her new Caringbridge site, that I will be building, is:
Sorry for the very public broadcast of our family health stuff, it is a little tacky, I realize in retrospect, but I have many real friends who read this blog, not just aquaintances. If you are an aquaintance and not a friend please forgive me, and chalk the over-sharing up to sleep deprivation.

Sleeping day! Thank you for all your good wishes sent through this odd blog phenomenon. Again, sorry for the overshare, I know many folks go through the sort of 8 days we just had. Some of them have blogs that I also follow :)

We will be setting up a Cancer Care blog just for Mom so this one can get back to its regularly scheduled Film News. Please email me if you wish to be on that list.

We are Going Home

They are releasing us from Hell Ward; Mom and I are on our way home with Terry's and Rob's help. The large, loud rednecks did not stop hacking up goop, laughing and smoking (outside and coming in reeking) and shouting, all day. There were no naps at all on our side of the curtain.

Tests have come back saying she has Stage 4 cancer, an adenocarcinoma.

That is all we can say at this point except that is it not lung cancer and it is not breast. More tests obviously forthcoming.

She will be seeing the pulmonologist tomorrow, outpatient, to have a shunt put in to drain the pleural effusion on her own so she can breathe.

We are both so tired we are hallucinating, we would love to answer all your kind and loving questions as soon as we know more, but not today.

Sleeping day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Digs

They moved us to another hospital in the Swedish system, onto a spare and businesslike surgical ward, into a shared room with no potential for a cot. We are not amused. The neighbor in the next bed, while very nice, has loud guests behind the thin curtain.

Mom is trying to sleep and can't.

We were so spoiled in that private room all week at Cherry Hill :(

When I asked if I could have a cot, they said, basically, it was about the patient, not about me.


I want to stay to be here FOR the patient, you un-compassionate poops. For comfort and company and a thousand little things that you do not get to.

I am concerned that if she gets nervous at night she will have to deal with her somewhat iffy roommate.

So it goes.

Praying that she will be comforted and fine and get some sleep.

Trying not to whine, for her sake, but to be upbeat.

AH! They found me a foldout chair, not great but better than nothing. Staying.

Tomorrow we find out more.

Mom and Me on Easter Sunday a Week Ago

After One More Night, Many More

So. Her O2 went down to 89 last night on 4 liters of Oxygen, around midnight. And yes after Terry gave me a nap yesterday afternoon, I did sleep here again; good thing too. I was able to help last night and today. The nurses, while excellent, are also sometimes annoying and forgetful. I can shield her from some of that.

We just heard from kind and compassionate Doctor Petersen (Cardiologist), speaking for Doctor Charlie Lee the Pulmonologist, that they found what could be cancer cells in the fluid they took out of her Friday. Which would mean lung cancer.

The pleural effusion is back, which is why she can't breathe again; it is around her right lung once more, the xray said yesterday. and it is once again huge.

They are going to move her to the Swedish First Hill campus today, off Madison, which is the Pulmonology ward, as we have been on the Cardiac ward for a week now. So far, with a few glitches, her heart is fine. Over to you, Doctor Lee.

They say it could be another week before Mom gets home. She is very upset by this of course. She said "I miss my cat!"

And then some.

She has fallen asleep now with her hand over her forehead. My heart breaks looking at her.

I am very far beyond rested sleep, but not quite hallucinating yet. Last night I slept from 12:30am to 5am when they woke us, then a little bit between the 6 and 7 am wakeups. In that last little nap I had what I hoped was not a prescient dream. Turns out it may have been.

I dreamed that Mom and Dad and I were on "P.S." (the boat that Dad built in 1970), sitting in the water off of Indian Point, at anchor near another boat.

I was on the boat's back deck, and suddenly it was weirdly awash, with water to my knees, though there was none inside the boat itself. I called forward to Dad in the Pilot House, and told him. He said he could handle it, and he leaned the boat to the side as easily as if it were a light sailboat, to spill the water out. But more water came in through the gunwales, and it sunk a bit deeper. I reached inside the boat to get Mom's ring just in case (her engagement ring that they tried to give me last Wednesday when she was admitted, but it was so big it fell off my thumb and I put it back on her). Dad tried to lean the boat the other way to spill the water, and it took on even more. Now all but the main house was sunk. Mom and Dad and I began to swim. In one last attempt I tried to stand it on end, by pushing on its back, but alas that sent it to the bottom. It was only about 20 feet of water, I could see it down on the bottom. I called for my folks, but could not see them. I tread water, frantic. Then Dad came swimming up trailing about 6 scavenged net floats on lines held in his mouth, to tie to the Crow's Nest and mark the place.

Mom was nowhere to be found. And the other people in their boat just watched and did nothing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One More Night . . .

. . . at least one, maybe more. They keep saying that Mom can "go home tomorrow" and getting her hopes all up, and then she has very little wind, pain on deep breathing, her heart is beating too fast, and she is dizzy and wan, so they keep her another night. I am not a fan of that daily hope-dashing. I think it would be better to say "it will be a few days".

I got sprung today; for the first time since Thursday morning I left the hospital. Pam came to stay from 2pm to 7pm, and I got a lovely 3 hour nap (with Smee curled up on me), shower, and a brief hello to the fam (Theo is really ticked at me, what a surprise - but at least he showed me his latest animated films!). What a difference. I amr eally ready to face the night.

Two darling friends have offered to spend the night for me (!), and it totally blows me away that folks would offer that. But I feel better being here, at least for now.

We are looking into home health care; in the morning there is a lot to arrange. A hospital bed among them. I do not want her hiking up the stairs, and neither do Rob or Cathy:)

Mom is dear and utterly brave in the face of all this. I am exploring new depths of fondness and love for this amazing lady who raised me, put up with my quirks and difficult personality traits, taught me to love this precious natural world, and is my wonderful adult friend. I am relieved when she gets occasionally feisty at caregivers. It makes me feel like she is coming back to strength.

I am also loving her exposing me to more PBS. She really loves that station and I do too, but it is all she wants to watch in here.

My most favorite thing though is her fondness for funny little stories and reminiscences that come up. She talked about her brothers a lot today. Fascinating.

Grateful to be with her, and not knowing how to do do this caregiving along with family and work, and trusting that if other friends can figure it out, so can I.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One more night...

They can't let her go yet because her BP is so low. An xray later today will tell us more about the remaining fluid. Doctor Lee cheerfully raised the spectre of a tumor, bless his little pulmonologist heart. We won't know till Tuesday when the labs are back. He also said he often has to do multiple thorocentesis procedures sometimes if the lab results are not definitive. Oh goody.

Mom is being heroic: sweet and compliant and grateful with only an occasional flare of eye-twinkling rebellion ("yes I can too eat chocolate! They don't mention it on that dumb heart diet!")

We are both exhausted. Being woken up whenever you finally achieve a dreamstate is ... Special. I don't know what to do about the fact that she is insisting I go home this evening. There are so many little helpful things I can do if I am present, and three or four times I have been able to know her medication story when others have been unsure. I think I might need to stay, am not deciding till nightfall. And yes, before I get emails, I DO know my health is also important;)

I find myself getting very angry when people use euphemisms like "End of Life Issues". I remember Madeleine hated the euphemism "Passed Away". She would strongly correct folks and say, "No, Hugh DIED."

We both know that this will very likely be Mom's final illness, we are just fighting for more years, hopefully multiple. She was philosophical when the nice chaplain visited, saying "There are way too many people, the planet is overpopulated and getting worse."

Well, sure, but this is HER, my sweet Mommie. Not a statistic. And yes, she is 84; fair enough.

It still sucks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mom is a Bit Better, PHEW!

Medical update for those who are sending Mom love:

This early morning she could hardly breathe at all, and there were some very scary coughing moments between 6:30 and 9, so much so that her wonderful nurse John called Doctor Petersen, who (unlike some docs) called RIGHT back and said yes, give her a dose of IV Lasix, wait a half-hour, and then do the procedure NOW, not this afternoon. So they did it around 10:30, and it was satisfying to see the awesome Doctor Li, the Pulmonologist, take 2.5 liters of claret-colored fluid out of her chest cavity. Right there in her hospital room.

She is breathing SOO much better. Her voice is stronger, with far less panting.

She is dry-mouthed now, with very low blood pressure (92/60, it was 70/60 an hour ago - heart rate 94, oxygen is only 90-91 though which I know from Tallis' Children's Hospital days is not great). She is in a lot of pain; in her chest cavity where her right lung is slowly reinflating, and where they stuck her. They are giving her some pain meds.

The diuretics have made her blood thinner, as they were trying to get the fluid out of her chest cavity, but also took it out of her circulatory system. So she is wan and dizzy.

We don't know when she can go home; Doctor Petersen says it will be when she can hike the hallways without being short of breath. Could be as early as tomorrow but I seriously doubt it.

So we are hunkering down for another night here. I am trying to return business calls but it is hard to do a lot of that, as she is wanting me here; she likes it when I read to her. I am pretty much offline for the duration.

I am utterly grateful for the doctors and nurses of Swedish Hospital. And for the amazing procedure, the Thorocentesis, which I believe saved her life today, in my laywoman's mind. SIGH OF RELIEF!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Found a Cot Hooray!

Now we are staying up late reading, because Mom weirdly is not sleepy. She is reminiscing about the time my brother showed up for a boat trip with very long hair, shocking my Dad, who never even said a word *grin*. It is good to be here.

Read Evening Prayer thanks to Pam sending it to me. Tomorrow I will get Terry to bring my BCP.

Good night.

Whatever Gets You Through the Night, It's Allright . . .

So here we are still at Swedish. Mom is getting a little bit worse all the time because they were unable to do the Thorocentesis (aspirating out the fluid in her chest cavity that has collapsed her right lung) today, because contrary to Doctor Petersen's wise orders NOT to give Mom Coumadin last night, some dork did, since it was on her list of daily meds. She is furious about that because she can hardly breathe at all. And she is scared every time she coughs, I can see it. The coughs are dry now and unproductive.

If they can get her blood Coumadin level down lower than 1.5 tomorrow they can do the procedure. It is at 1.9 now.

So I am trying to spend the night here, because I want to be here if things get worse. That is dependent on whether or not a cot can be found, as they are in limited supply.

I am flared up with fibro, of course, and coping. I have my work face on, I am not showing any unhelpful emotions in Mom's room, just I was on JourneyQuest. Had a dinner break a little while ago and called Terry and Tallis for a little cry, now I have my armor back on. We have had wonderful visitors and phone calls (and an online meeting!) today, including Peter, Mom's fave minister, who prayed with us. Mom gets overwhelmed when it is more than one person visiting, though. Too much energy.

I am trying to just be in the moment and trust that it will turn out allright. And clinging to "All Shall Be Well" a lot.

I feel like I was just beginning to process the whole JourneyQuest roller coaster when this began; like I went from one intensity to the next. I would love a pause or a wee rest. Which is why I will go online again some tonight, to forget my troubles in playing my MMO. Tried reading but the light is too dim. And by the way, this is SO not about my very slight discomfort . . .

God bless all who are in pain and scared, as I know many are this night.

And thanks for reading this dear ones; I realize the blog posts are coming fast and furious these days. I tend both to over-eat and to over-write when I get stressed :)

I remain in faith, and in gratitude for the angels in our lives, human and otherwise.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the hospital with Mom

Mom's awesome cardiologist, whom we both hope will become her very own cardiologist, looked at her Echocardiogram and her chest xray and her blood work and said that they might need to physically get rid of her big pleural effusion (the big sac of fluid pushing on her lungs from her chest cavity) tomorrow, but they have to get her off Coumadin first, so she didn't take it today and won't tomorrow and they will aspirate the liquid out tomorrow if the fates align. They are trying to get her very fast heart rate down also. And giving her IV Lasix. Fingers crossed.

We are both so very relieved that she is here at Swedish where she is finally getting such excellent care.

She is panting in her bed now but is much better than earlier today. At last she is letting us help her the way we want to:)

She is being sweet and polite and brave to all nurses, doctors, visitors, and me. Sweet lovely brave scared Mom. I love her more than I can ever say.

Mom and I are headed to the hospital

She is way worse, they just did an EKG and put her on oxygen and have agreed with me that things are dire just now, (she can't walk more than 10 feet with out panting for her life) and that she needs a suite at "Hotel Swedish" as Doctor Frank so genially put it. He just gave her some nitroglycerin. More later as I know more.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

JourneyQuest Sneak Peek at Norwescon Went GREAT!

The crowd seemed to really enjoy both trailers, the one for JQ and the "Making Of" trailer that Terry made.


Our first public outing was a hit.

And now to bed, tomorrow is Easter!

God bless us, every one.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Better today!

Mom is a bit better, though her breathing is still not easy at all, and she is frustrated at her lack of energy these last three weeks - I am cautiously relieved. I am at work today on Charity Parenzini's film "You're Still So Vain". Then to Mom's for late lunch. Then will be presenting JQ footage tonight at NorWesCon. Will hopefully go over to tuck Mom in later.

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter Day tomorrow.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mom Continues to Have Shortness of Breath

They didn't do an EKG on Mom at the doctor's today, as he was out of town; they just told her to stay on the new drugs, the Lasix and the Losartan, in addition to the Coumadin and the other things. Argh. I am hoping we don't have to go to the ER for an EKG over Easter weekend! She is having a hard time with the panting, and trying to catch her breath with just walking. It calms down when she sits though, after a bit.

Once again I went over there to spend time with her this evening, and once again I helped her get ready for bed and tucked her in and stayed with her till her breathing got better after tackling the stairs. It was very sweet and companionable. I brought her a new pillow, the denim one with arms that Terry got for me when I was so sick. She liked it.

At one point I lay my head against her shoulder on the pillow and we chatted about various memories of boat trips and hiking trips. We watched her neighbor in his room as I guess she does every night. Looking at the photos and things around her bedroom, she said "What are you going to do with all these rocks?" I said "I love these rocks." She said "You didn't answer me." I picked up a picture of the two of us when I was three, rowing in the dinghy at Indian Point, and said that it looked like my whole childhood. She agreed.

I don't want to answer her when she talks about dying; about not being here and asking me what I am going to do with the house, etc. She is thinking this is it, that she won't get better from this, and I guess I am hoping very hard that she is wrong.

She has lost a great deal of weight, she is 130+ instead of her usual 143. They say it is losing the water weight, but I worry. Vomiting does not help. She said the nurse said she will get her appetite back soon. I sure hope so. She looks strong but I don't want her to lose more.

My brother called her today and it pleased her very much. Rob had to yell at him for three days to get him to call her yesterday, but I gather today he called on his own. I hope he actually comes to town in two weeks.

God bless us, every one, on Good Friday. May Easter bring all who suffer healing grace.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

JourneyQuest Sneak Peek at Norwescon

Mom seemed chipper today, looking forward to the results of tomorrow's EKG. Am spending the night with her as she vomited after dinner and had breathing troubles afterward.

In other news, we will be screening footage of JourneyQuest in Seattle at Norwescon this Saturday night at 10pm. I am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Phew! At least for now.

I had a good long visit with Mom today, and read the doctor's orders. I am as familiar with the sitch as I can get. She is having another EKG on Thursday and we will know more then. She is in good spirits and breathing better than she was yesterday, so big big sigh of relief. I am now, with her permission, actively seeking a part-time "helper" for Mom as I cannot make dinner for her every night. The good thing is that I will be able to be there some nights and days though, now that the show has wrapped.

If anyone knows of a good elder-care person in Seattle I would love recommendations.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another prayer request please friends

My mother did not want to scare me during the shoot but she has been sick for awhile, retaining fluid, can't catch her breath sometimes because her lungs have fluid, they have her on some medications for it but her heart is overworking big time. I am very scared, and slightly mad that she didn't tell me, she wanted to see me get the show done and not have me quit to help her, which I so would have done...we most likely will not be able to leave town as planned for Easter weekend. Scared. Thanks so much for your prayers. I appreciate them more than you know.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

That's a Wrap!

JourneyQuest Season One Wrap! Nine days of shooting (if you count them all), and though we had planned for double that shooting time, I really could not be more pleased with the work of the astonishing cast and crew, who stepped up to every hurdle with astonishing grace and accomplished the impossible. So ready to sleep. A lot. God bless us, every one. And bless all who prayed for us.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final Day of the Attenuated Shoot Tomorrow

Phew. Home Stretch!

Our original plan of shooting three times as many days has been attenuated to a 9-day shoot, but I am really pleased with the result. Despite everything it is beautiful thing. And that is due I think to the bravery and self-sacrifice and hard hard hard work of our fabulous team. What a blessing to work with these people!


Praying for good weather our final day. It is gonna be a doozy, with 9 orcs to get through makeup and a battle scene . . . *crosses all digits* good weather . . . good weather . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RIP Becky Mehrer, My Childhood Friend

RIP Rebecca Mehrer

My heart is breaking today because I learned in a letter last night that my dear friend Becky Mehrer (seen here riding my horse Rookie circa 1975) died. Her poor Mom did not say how she died. Becky was my best pal in grade school, and my horse pal in High School. She was the one I always rode horses with as kids, she was a Girl Scout with me. Her Mom, June, was my Girl Scout leader, and her family ran the Adventuress back then. She was the falconer-in-training that I flew hawks with and counted eagles with each winter as teens.

I am so heartbroken that she never got to see "The Dark Horse", there was a line in it just for her ("Remember how Becky and I used to come up here to hide when you big boys were marauding"). . . I should have just sent her a copy of it, I wanted to send her a "real" one when it was released . . . Oh it makes me so sad!

Rest in peace, sweet Becky, known to me as "Schnutz". I will miss talking horses with you, and giggling about boys, and reading romance novels in the sun on hillocks with horses grazing beside us, and climbing mountains, and polishing the brass on the Adventuress, and voyaging on the "P.S.", and having adventure after adventure every Spring Break and many October weekends and summers.

You take a huge part of my childhood memories with you. Nobody will ever know the young horse-dreaming, silly, romantic preteen Corrie the way you did, and nobody will ever know that silly preteen you like I did. I will always miss you.

This has been one doozy of a Lent. I am very ready for Easter. Madeleine always said that Lent was the toughest time of the year, and indeed I remember many horrible Lents when I was working for her. But this one has just been awful.

Ten days till Easter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day Five Orcage

The Boss as an Orc *grin*

Whoever he plays, he plays it with gusto! Matt is a very convincing orc.

Day Five: Orcs Orcs Orcs!

Tallis as an Orc Extra. Such fun.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day Four, Fab!

Today I held a slate as I danced beside a river in the late sun with a giggling Bard tied to a Riddle Pillar next to me, while she prepared to watch an undead guy full of arrows go groaning by, as a slain orc fell beside her. Can't say that happens every day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Beach Bum Friends

Day Three Was Even Better :)

Very long day but very good day, the team is really starting to pull together.

Sooooo tired and sore:) Two nice crew members from Chehalis (2 hours away) are bunking here for a bit. Nice to get to know new people:)

I really love the film tribe.

Must sleep getting up at 6!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Image One: Two of our stars Emote *grin*

Image Two: Producer critiquing the Makeup Department on set today:)

Tired but happy to have completed Day One.

*sigh of relief and exhaustion*

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dear God,

We believe that you have both the power and the desire to save us from calamities in our lives. We ask that as JourneyQuest continues tomorrow, you would rescue us from any lurking calamities that would otherwise overtake us. Please give us the strategy and the ability to overcome the difficulties we face. Give the company a new wind of strength to overcome our daily challenges, with grace. Thank you for promising to cause all things to work together for good to those that love you and are called according to your purposes.


From a daily prayer, adapted.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm . . ."

-- Casting Crowns

We grieved long, we grieved well. Both the funeral and the wake were . . . truly a blessing for all.

Now we go back to work. I have impossible tasks ahead of me today as Producer.

And I believe that God's strength will get us all through, no matter how many are on the sick list, no matter how many are broken.

May it be so. We shoot in two days.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Credo Today

Psalm 121

I lift my eyes unto the hills,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
the maker of heaven and earth.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Attitude Today

Just sayin'.

Soldiering On

Through many vicissitudes (more have of course cropped up, and one is also tragic) we soldier on. When we wrap on March 28 I am planning to sleep for about a week, and then go hug a horse, which I have not been able to for many months of intense pre-pro.

As of now, Matt and I are producing this, just us, until I can find another producer. So far no luck. Larry tells me I have the skill set for it, and don't need another one. But my heart often quails. Then I turn to prayer, and am all right.

Matt and I discovered yesterday that we have JUST enough money left to get this done with his cleverly reduced schedule. For which I praise the Lord. And Elizabeth's and Kat's tidy and brilliant accounting!

On we go. I am shut down emotionally, am just putting one foot in front of the other. Haven't cried since The Awful Day; which is unusual for me. Am eating well, am sleeping till I wake up. Am praying for health for all involved.

Back to the office. I saw a homeless guy standing in the rain on the way home last night with a sign saying "Need money for my Lear Jet". I gave him a dollar.

There is much to be thankful for. All I am is tired; I am not standing in the rain; I go home to a warm house and three awesome guys. And I go to work with fabulous artists. I am blessed among women.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The JQ Plan as of Today

We are taking the week to recover, and then we will be resuming shooting next week, probably Wednesday. Matt and I are in the office producing this until we get new volunteer folks to fill key positions, so we have a wee bit of pressure. But so far he and I are healthy and willing and able to proceed. Many of our beloved crew are under huge stress, some of it medical, so if you have prayers to spare, please pray for those resting at home and the several of us in the hospital at this time. John's funeral and wake will be this weekend, and those of us who were there that day will attend and mourn.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

RIP John Moore

John on set Sunday morning.

JQ Letter From Production Today

Last night the producers were on the phone for many hours, and here is the result:

After careful thought and consideration, in respects with all your wishes (or the wishes of everyone I've talked to), we're resuming production on JourneyQuest. I want to thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding. We're working on changing and getting a few locations. Things are going to be pared down a bit more, we're going to do our best to keep locations to the Seattle/ Tacoma area, but rest assured there will still be food, people and laughter to help this along. We ask for only a little more time from you guys while we fix the schedule. We're doing our best to keep things as is, keeping to the current schedule (Minus the Sumbre section.) and while we're working our hardest to make Friday a possibility, currently (And I will get more information for you) I believe John's funeral is scheduled for Saturday. So we will be taking off that day and again, I'll get you the details as soon as I can. Today we're meeting and re working the schedule, and will get back to you as soon as we can.

This is going to take a lot of pulling together and we will do our best to make this a fun shoot, and continue honoring the memory of our friend and colleague John Moore.

1st AD

"The condition for a great miracle is impossibility."

God bless us, every one!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tragedy and Hope

Terrible Tragedy on Set

I do not know how to say this, so I just will. JourneyQuest is shut down from grief, we had a death Sunday. Our wonderful friend and crew member John Moore had a massive heart attack and died on set mid-day yesterday. We are shut down for the Astoria leg of the shoot, and we do not know what to do at this point, or whether or not we are in production again as previously planned Friday in the Seattle area.

After John's death, we met back at the church where the company was staying for lunch, then stayed all together all day and had dinner there courtesy of our friend the pastor, Chris Ode, then he led us in a heartfelt, tear-soaked, lovely/horrible memorial service in the church.

We have all arrived safely back home today after a shell-shocked 4 hour drive north.

We are all devastated by this.

Please pray for John's family and dear ones.

Please pray for the 4 producers as we discern where to go from here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Cherry Orchard

Terry directed, Tallis is an actor in it, it is great, it is in at ACT, go see! Runs through March 14th. Come on, you know you want to see some volatile Russians lose their land!

Friday, March 5, 2010

One Day from Principal Photography

I am taking a page from Laurie Deason's playbook and requesting good thoughts and prayers please for our production of JourneyQuest.

We are two days out from Principal Photography and tension is of course high :) We will shoot for much of March, for the first two weeks contiguously, with a day off.

Several of us are sick.

I am behind on my Scriptie Book due to many factors, one of them is that I am also a producer on several shows, this among them.

So if you feel led please pray for "JourneyQuest" and its stalwart and ridiculously overworked crew.

In other news, I have had some successful meetings of late re: "Camilla Dickinson", so am encouraged that someday we may actually get to do that movie.

God bless us, every one!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dark Horse is in 7 New Festivals!

"The Dark Horse" just got accepted to the AMRITSA slate of 7 festivals in Wales, Ireland, England, South Africa, and Egypt (but I am too late to actually go to that one, not that I could afford it).

This is a wonderful organization that has grouped together to allow filmmakers to be assured that once they are accepted to one of the fests, they will be accepted to the others. Truly amazing!

Now to figure out how to go to one, or maybe two . . . and how to bring the fam!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This was nice today I thought after a hard day.

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."

(James 1:2-4, NLT)

I want to be ready for anything. Cause when you are making a movie, anything will and inevitably DOES happen :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The first screening of the ZMD theatrical run went really well last night, it was completely sold out, and as you can see, there were rabid fans/extras - that lady made her own shirt:) There are other screenings on the 31st, the 2nd, and the 4th. I am going again the 4th.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zombies of Mass Destruction in Southcenter tomorrow:)

I wil be there to watch myself scream a lot. *grin*

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tallis, Thespian

Here are a couple of shots of Tallis working in the last few weeks. I am terribly proud of him of course :)

Very intense day at Kairos Productions, but the team is weathering it all very well, all things considered. More grace.

Praying, as I do nearly every hour of every day, for the funds to arrive so we can start preproduction on "Camilla Dickinson".

Monday, January 25, 2010

Working Very Hard on Projects

As a producer on several shows right now I am feeling overstressed, underpaid, and like I need to clone myself (and my colleagues feel the same way). I can never get enough sleep; even if I sleep 9 hours I wake up tired. It is hard to fit in the gym this month. I used to do it on the way home, but now I arrive home from work to tag Terry as he heads off to direct "The Cherry Orchard". Tallis was in three shows at once (plus high school) for these last few weeks, "Grease", "Wolfsbane", and "Cherry Orchard". "Wolfsbane" wrapped yesterday, now he is only in two, which should be better.

I have every school evening with Theo, and Terry has afternoons, so Theo's doing just fine. He may be the only one getting enough hugs at the moment:) I have not seen a horse in months. And weekends are interesting.

But somehow, miraculously, it is all getting done. Somehow, in between the lack of money and the craziness of every work day, Grace is prevailing.

Mom was baptized yesterday, at 84, for the first time, and joined the Church. (!!!) My faraway brother Sky came to town, whom we hadn't seen since August, and he was wonderfully present last weekend. The few times we actually see Tallis he is in fine spirits, which is amazing. And Terry and I are having to be very intentional about getting private couple time right now, which is not a bad thing alltogether.

Taproot Theater is triumphantly reopening this next week, after only a couple of months dark due to their fire, and we are very thankful for that Herculean triumph. Miracles.

Somehow, in the midst of all this crazy crazy stress, I still have faith that "Camilla Dickinson" will be fully funded and go forward this year. I don't know where I get that faith, because in this financial climate it is ridiculous. But I thank God for it.

Madeleine always quoted this Lewis Carroll quote to me when the chips were down:

"There is no use trying", said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." "I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Year, New Resolve to BLOG Sometimes:)

My Facebook is my blog in essence as I post there nearly every day, but I don't want to neglect my dear wee bloglet here :)

Here are pics from today's shoot of "Wolfsbane", Matt Wilson and Rennie Araucto's great steampunk short that Tallis is in, and Christian is in, and I am an extra in *grin*.

I continue to work with Elizabeth and Ben on trying to raise the funds to do "Camilla Dickinson", which is very hard in this particular economy :( I am ACHING to see that story filmed!!!

In the meantime, we are working VERY hard on "JourneyQuest" in the Kairos/ZOE production office, all day, every day. It is fun work, but a heck of a lot of it. Sure hope our several months of prep pay off with an amazing shoot! *crosses fingers*