Saturday, November 29, 2014

Photos! NWMP and Jen's Bustle Dress

Robert and Jen came to our house for Thanksgiving and did final, final fittings.

I had to know where to put the last button of the North West Mounted Police (1800s) jacket.  I also had to check out the length for the strap for the "bread bag".  He brought the boots, pants, gauntlets and pith helmet so we could see a bit of the final look!

And then Jen had to try her outfit on also.

We had forgot her overskirt so had to fix that!

Jen decided to show off her bustle.  She looks a lot better than Kim Kardashian any day.

Then Jen wanted pics of my dress:

No corset, etc except the bustle petticoat.  It really makes a difference.

Dearest and I have decided to go up to the tea on BART  with a suitcase of costumes the day before, stay overnight at the Palace, then Jen and Robert will meet us to get ready for the tea, using our room.  We will leave after the tea and Jen and Robert will be staying in that room the night of the tea.  Otherwise, the bathrooms are mobbed with people getting dressed and we have to worry about getting there on time, parking, etc. and departure time is 11 and check-in is at 3pm and the tea is at 2pm.   We plan on checking out all the Christmas windows that evening!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


It has been a while since I have put out an update.  The doctors have all ordered an IVIG treatment for Ben but since the first time the order was submitted to Anthem-Blue Cross it was denied.   It took quite a while before they got back to us that it had been denied.  That was October 1st, 2014.  Time waisted.  There was a mistake on that form so we understood and the doctors submitted a new form.  That request was sat on for one reason or another and then they integrated treatments that had been for his father into Ben's file (I just wonder how THAT happened!!)  And, of course, that was denied. When Anthem-Blue Cross were told that they had Ben's dads medication on Ben's chart, they didn't correct it, just started a delay and ignore strategy.  Requests kept getting denied and denied.  Ben's dad was keeping his company, LAM Research, informed about all the denials and his mom was copying the HR department on correspondence between Anthem-Blue Cross and Stanford PANS clinic and her.  One of the sticking points was the word PANDAS.....there is a whole history with that!

Finally, after all this time, (From Oct 1, 2014 till today) , Cathy got a call this morning!  Anthem-Blue Cross told her that the treatment was denied AGAIN, BUT that LAM Research's HR department over-ruled Anthem-Blue Cross and ok'ed the treatment request!!!!!  I have never heard of a company being able to do that, I think it kind of went like "if you don't ok this treatment, we are changing insurance companies next time around and Anthem-Blue Cross will not be one of our selections".

Thank you, thank you, LAM RESEARCH HR DEPARTMENT!

So, now, to actually do the IVIG.  Ben's doctors have arranged for him to have it done at home. That in itself will make things easier for the family.  Otherwise, he would have to go to Stanford Children's Hospital and the commute isn't pretty (even though they are fairly close), and just the whole hospital thing would put extra stress on the family.  After the treatment Ben will most likely have a very bad headache afterwards and we are all just praying that he will be able to get through it as easily as possible and it really kicks this PANDAS thing.

Since July or August he has been on daily doses of antibiotics which has made changes in him.  Usually in the Fall he starts getting all those colds, etc. once school starts.  Then the PANDAS really
gets going and he is totally really bad off till around March or later.  The antibiotics has seemed to keep the illnesses away and he has been the best I can remember in years.  Rather wonderful things have been showing through.  Normally he is pretty much "out of it" most of the time.  He is pacing, has vocal tics, OCD and just not there.  Since his body is not bombarded with all the stuff the antibiotics are keeping away, Ben is starting to show through.  It is so hard to describe how much little things make such a difference to us.  He actually will start a conversation and stick with the for a while. And he is showing humor and playing jokes, something he hasn't done for so long.  These thing happen just once in a great while but to us it is like we are re-discovering Ben again.  He is now so grown up it will be so interesting to find out what he is like as a teenager!  He has missed so much of his life with this stuff and we want him back!

Please keep him in your thoughts.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ardenwood December Schedule

The Patterson House will continue to undergo a decorating transformation into a celebration with a Christmas tree in every room, many having LOTS of Christmas trees!  Last year, children had fun trying to count every Christmas tree in the house.  It was quite a challenge!

Ardenwood Farm 

December 6-7, 10 am-4 pm

Celebrate the holiday Victorian style!  Visit Father Christmas and the beautiful Patterson House, find the Yule Log, listen to live music, enjoy a puppet show, and create a Christmas craft.  Fee: $6/adults, $5/seniors (62+ yrs), $4/children(4-17 yrs.), children 3 yrs. & under are free.  For further information call (510) 544-2797.

Patterson House Christmas Tours

Thursday-Friday December 11-12 & 18-19, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14 & 20-21, 11:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM

Enjoying seeing the Patterson House spruced up for the holidays!  Find our hidden Monarch butterflies, as well as, something special hidden in each room as you tour our beautifully  decorated Victorian mansion.  Adults $4, Children $3 plus farm admission

Christmas Open House

Friday, December 12,  5:00 pm - 8:45 PM

Put yourself in the holiday spirt by seeing the Patterson House all dolled up at night!  Enjoy live music, Victorian inspired decorations and much more!  Register online at  Adults $7 (barcode 219842)  Children $3 (barcode 219841).

Christmas Teddy Bear Tea

December 20&21, 2:30 PM

Enjoy afternoon tea, yummy goodies, a tour of the Patterson House, a Victorian fashion show and much more at our Teddy Bear Tea!  Adults $25, Children $35.  Please RSVP by December 1st to Carol Pike, (510) 656-2920.

Some pictures from last year, mostly from the Guest Bedroom where I was:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NWMP - Collar finished!

The jacket is officially finished......except for the bottom buttonhole and button.  The buttons stick out quite a bit so I don't want one to be placed where it will be under the belt.  So have to wait for Robert before I finish that.

I have the strap to the "bread bag" to finish.  Buckle and length.

The belt is just the end of the webbing.   And why didn't I show the back???  Because there is just a roll of webbing hanging back there.  The white webbing is just for show here.

And Jen's outfit:

This was at one of her fittings.  The sleeves are part of the mock up.  She was practicing sitting in a bustle.  She did a pretty good job for the girl I used to get after for "plopping" in a seat!

I just realized, I don't have a picture of her in the whole dress!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


The epaulets are done except actually tacking them on.

Tomorrow I will be adding a little something to the collar and tacking down the epaulets.  Then I will be done until I see Rob again for a final fitting on a few details, like where the bottom button will hit with the belt on.

Friday, November 21, 2014

NWMP - Getting closer!

The sleeves are now on and the lining is attached!

Now, if tomorrow goes as planned, there will be buttonholes and buttons on by evening!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The little accessories!

Robert got boots!

"and to go with them, the pith helmet and the gauntlets!  And they look just lovely with the trousers with the Mounty strips! " Isis says.
Actually, Isis is saying " here come that BB cat to torment me".

BB has only 3 legs, but she makes up for it with personality!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NWMP - Sleeve Progress

I spent quite a bit of time today tacking down the sleeve trim.  I finished one sleeve and the other has a bit more of the 2nd side of the trim to tack down.  The trim is rather delicate and the fabric is rather thick so it takes time and patience.

And my poor fingers need a break from all the hand sewing I've been doing.

When done with the trim I will need to cut out the sleeve lining, sew those pieces together, attach each to the wrist hems of the sleeves and then attach the sleeves to the jacket. . . maybe by Friday.

I need to give the house some attention too!

We are finally getting some rain!  Last weeks little bit of rain just soaked in so fast you couldn't even tell any fell.  Then early this week I actually saw my first puddle in years...I'm not kidding!  I even took a picture of it!

These pictures were taken at Ardenwood where the sheep saw me and decided I just might have something really tasty for them.

They gave me the cold shoulder when I didn't have a treat.

The catalpa tree in the back of the house was a volunteer and started at the same time I volunteered!  I have watched that thing grow from a tiny thing into this huge tree.

The Strawberry tree is in full bloom and looks so pretty with all it's varieties of shades that I just had to take a picture of it.

The Christmas decorating started Monday and the house will be open again the first Thursday of December.  It is always fun to see what they have come up with for the season each year!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

RCMP - Starting the Sleeves!

All the piping is done on the jacket edges and this afternoon I started on the sleeves!

I started with the dark blue on the cuffs.

Then basted the outline of the Austrian knot on the sleeve.

And then I tacked down one side of the trim onto the sleeve.  The cuff is just folded under at this point.

This is a very simple Austrian knot.  The higher up officers had a much more complicated version.

Tomorrow, I will tack down the other side of the trim and maybe get to the other sleeve.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

NWMP - Attaching the lining and the trim

Today I did a lot of hand sewing trim on and attaching the lining,  I have one side of the front trim to go.

 This is where it was this morning.  Remember that right side of the "tail" was too long. . .

I fix the length today the back pleats and added the buttons to the back.

This is the way the front looked this morning . . .

Now all the piping is finished except that piece hanging down in the front.

I did find a pole to put Robert's body on to make it higher, but it was to wobbley and keep threatening to fall over!  Tomorrow and Tuesday will be busy but I may get the trim finished.  If I do, maybe I can start working on the sleeves on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NWMP uniform - collar and back

Today I spent some time putting the collar on.  I had put the trim on yesterday.  I need to finish the front neckline still.

I also worked on the "tails" in the back.  I had to leave the top edges loose so I could get the trim under there.  Unfortunatly, I realized that I didn't measure correctly for the hem on the right hand side so I need to redo the trim there.

So I plan to
1.  finish the neckline
2.  sew the "skirt seam again
3.  then stitch that seam down
4.  remove the trim on the bottom of the right skirt
5.  re-measure the hem
6. replace the trim on the bottom of the skirt

Hopefully I will get all that done and if I get a chance I will start working on the front closing.

I need to find a longer pole to hold Robert up higher.  My dress form is set for my height and Robert is very much taller than me.