Friday, October 31, 2008

Sisters, sisters...

The nuns in this show have come together remarkably well and have made this production a lot more fun. We've also been a supportive bunch; one of our sisters lost a grandparent while we were in rehearsal and had to miss a few rehearsals to go to the funeral. Various of us have been late because of work or family things that had to be taken care of, or missed rehearsals for illness. The late or absent nun always got a "how are you? are you OK?" when she arrived. Last night, two of our number were quite late; one because of a work emergency, the other because she had spent the day with friends in from out of town to attend a memorial service for a close friend of all of them. Each arrived frazzled and upset and immediately was surrounded by a flock of mother hens, offering hugs and "Hey, it's a rehearsal, not a performance. You'll be fine."

It's also been fun to see how our Maria and von Trapp kids have bonded. Our Maria really does mother them, they get along like siblings, our Liesl also mothers the rest of the kids - I think it's contributed a lot to how well they do on stage that they get along so well off stage.

These friendships sometimes continue, if only on a back burner, long after a show has closed. For example, the Albert Peterson to my Mae Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie over a year ago still calls me Mamma when we see each other.

This sort of thing puts the "community" in community theater. It doesn't happen with every cast, but I've seen it happen often enough that it not only doesn't surprise me, but I probably secretly hope for another such experience with each new cast.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busy week

Of course it's a busy week - it's Tech Week! In addition to daily rehearsals since Saturday, I also managed to squeeze in an audition Sunday night for a production of The Merry Widow. Requested one of the embassy wives or Njegus (they're casting it as a mezzo, not the usual baritone); wasn't called back and haven't heard anything, so I'm guessing that means I'll be in the chorus.

Doing very little tech week sewing for this show. All I have to do is adjust the fastening for my nun's collar and sew myself a new coif because the one I was issued is too short to stay tucked into the wimple. I bought a pattern & fabric yesterday, so today I sew. That means I'll only get one rehearsal with it before Sound of Music opens tomorrow night, but that shouldn't be a problem. My other costume prep is similarly minimal - starch the wimple in hopes of getting it to lie flat and press the habit & scapular.

Had one little "incident" last night. Two of us nuns are responsible for setting and striking the table for the scenes on the von Trapp terrace (Baroness von Schraeder, Max and the Capt). Last night we were striking it after the first terrace scene and had a few difficulties: no one was holding back the curtain leg we needed to get past, people were standing in the space the table needed to go into, and a huge "wall" was much too close. I learned of the wall's position the hard way, when we swung the table to avoid hitting people and my hand (the dominant one, natch!) suddenly ended up between the table and the corner of the "wall". Ouch! Tonight I'm posting a sign asking people to leave the table space clear.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't give 'em any ideas!

If you've flown recently, or even priced fares, you can relate. I just hope this doesn't give the airlines any ideas...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Um, yeah, it's been a while, hasn't it?

Lots of little things conspiring against me lately - TW installed the newest version of Internet Explorer on our computer, which promptly wreaked all kindsa havoc. The computer is mostly working again, but some things still work either s-l-o-w-l-y or not at all, and that only after TW spent 2 or 3 days trying various fixes.

Last weekend a cousin (well, actually, a parental cousin, but never mind) was in town because she had written 3 piano vignettes for a program in a series for the Lincoln bicentennial. We went to the program Saturday night, then met her for brunch on Sunday and had a nice, long visit - just great!

With Opening Night fast approaching, we started running full acts a week or so ago and did our first full run Wednesday night. Monday night we loaded the set into the theater, today was the Sitzprobe (first run-through w/ orchestra), tomorrow is our first rehearsal on the set, Monday will be our first full dress rehearsal, and we open this coming Friday.

TW's car has been headed for a new transmission for a while now, but this past week it started leaking fluids. He'd been hoping to get another 6 months to a year out of it, but after learning that even a rebuilt transmission would cost almost as much as the car is worth, he decided to bite the bullet and replace it now. He spent a few nights researching cars on line, following up on what he'd learned when I was going through this exercise. Last night we did some carshopping and he ended up buying himself a nice, new Matrix.

Today TW stopped first at the bank to move some money around to cover the check we wrote last night for the down payment, then to the dealership to sell them his Saturn, and from there he went to the cabin to drain the pipes (they've had overnight freezes out there at least 3 nights out of the past 4 or 5) and check on a few other things. His first drive in his new car and with his new cruise control.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Won't be long now... My back started spasming right after dinner, to the point where I realized even Rx-strength motrin wasn't gonna do it. I broke down and took a muscle relaxant, called to say I wouldn't be at rehearsal tonight after all because the pill would knock me out. "My brain is going, Dave; I can feel it, Dave..."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Too many apples?

No, but getting close. The peck of Jonagold apples my sister & I bought 2 weeks ago have gotten too soft to bake (one cake only used 4 apples), so they're now simmering in my 8-qt soup pot - applesauce in the making.

I stopped at the same orchard Saturday on my way to the cabin. The Yorks are in now, so I picked up 1/2 a peck. Yesterday TW and I went to a local apple butter festival, where one of the apple vendors actually had Jonathans! They used to be common as Romes or Macintosh and always came into season just in time for my birthday, but the past few years I've been unable to find any at all, so I bought 1/2 peck of them.

For those of you keeping track, that's one peck of apples bought in a single weekend, when I hadn't finished the first peck. Two pecks = 1/2 bushel, in case you were wondering; methinks I overbought just a bit. So yesterday I borrowed a pie plate from our cabin neighbors and returned it w/ a pie in it; that took care of half the Yorks. Today when we got home, I first cut up the Jonagolds for applesauce, then the rest of the Yorks for a pie. Not only does the house smell wonderful, but because we've got the doors & windows open (turned out to be another gorgeous day), we're sharing the olfactory wealth with the neighbors.

That still leaves the Jonathans, but because we've already started snacking on them, I imagine I'll only need to bake once or twice more to finish them off.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Worth every penny!

TW was saying the other night that we'd "lost money" on the cabin because what we'd have made on a sale since all the work we had done on it wasn't as much as what we'd've made if we hadn't done anything but upgrade the kitchen (which desperately needed it!) and replace the roof. But he readily agreed with me when I pointed out that we were enjoying the cabin and not exactly planning to sell anytime soon.

Then this morning he called from out there (I'll join him after rehearsal today), talking 20 words to the dozen about how gorgeous it is, he'd already taken a long walk and seen 15 or 20 deer, including a young buck, he'd opened up all the blinds and had the sun pouring in... On and on and on. I mentioned bringing stuff out to make an apple pie; "No, I don't want you working out here; just come and relax and enjoy." (He, on the other hand, was about to start sanding the deck some more. He does enjoy working on the place.)

His enthusiasm was enough to make me wish I could skip rehearsal. It was so good to hear him so upbeat, since work has been getting him down lately.

No, the cabin is not an investment property, unless you stretch the definition to include investing in one's own mental health. A shrink might be cheaper (we've spent a lot on repairs and improvements since we bought the place), but this will last more than 50 minutes a week.

Monday, October 06, 2008

How to make your house smell wonderful

Baked an apple cake after dinner tonight. Only used 4 Jonagolds, but they were big - nearly softball-sized! The recipe only calls for cinnamon, but I added dashes of nutmeg, clove, allspice, even a sprinkle of ginger. The house smells so good now!

Some of this will go across the street to our neighbor, whose birthday is tomorrow and who loves this particular cake, even though it's not frosted. TW joked as usual about keeping the whole cake for himself, but it's all in good fun. Depending on how the weekend goes, though, I may well end up making either another cake or an apple pie. (I bought a lot of apples last weekend when my sister & I stopped by the family-run orchard near the cabin. I gotta use 'em up before they go bad.)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It's a wonder I don't rattle.

Just when I thought I was over my cold, the cough started reasserting itself last week; not just refusing to go away, but getting worse. The after-hours doc diagnosed bronchitis, so now I'm on both anti-inflammatory steroids and an antibiotic so I don't pick up any secondary infections.

The ironic thing is that a friend & I sang for our parish's monthly healing mass this afternoon. He'd just spent 2 hours at his son's soccer game, inhaling allergens, so between his allergies and my cruddy lungs... Let's just say it's a good thing there were 2 of us, so one could keep things going while the other coughed or cleared a throat.

Dinner tonight? That chicken soup I made for my ailing hubby earlier today - lovely comfort food.

Escape artist

Just call that pup Houdini...

"Jewish penicillin"

Poor TW's down with the cold I'm finally getting rid of and right now is at the worst part of it - head stuffed solid, coughing, and not sleeping well because of it. He eagerly took me up on my offer to make what he refers to as "Jewish penicillin" - chicken soup. Easy enough to do, as we still had most of a chicken left from dinner the other night, as well as the basics - celery, onion, carrots. When I asked whether he'd like rice, barley, or noodles in it as well, he said "Yes!" In other words, throw in a little of each. We'll see how that combination turns out, but at least it smells good.