Saturday, December 11, 2010
After the movie (and a sidetrip to pick up a Christmas present), we went to a nearby diner for dinner. I even got a free milkshake to go w/ my burger, courtesy of my movie ticket stub. We'd have gone there anyway, but it was nice to get a little freebie. TW and I had a bit of a theological discussion about death & dying, but it wasn't morbid; more a "wonder if it's like this..." discussion.
Unfortunately, he wasn't feeling too well even when we left the house, so he went to bed as soon as we got home. We're hoping a good night's sleep will take care of whatever it was.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
TW called home earlier this afternoon to let his brother know we were planning to come up for another visit next weekend, but he waved us off. MuMu is more & more out of it (she asked TW, again, how the kids are), so I guess P thinks she won't know us if we visit. From what TW relayed, it sounds like MuMu's decline is accelerating; last week, just making the short trip to the bathroom tired her enough that she needed oxygen for 5 or 10 minutes before returning to her recliner. She's weak, she's in pain, and she's outlasted the 3-6 months the docs gave her when they diagnosed her terminal cancer 8 months ago.
This could affect our plans to spend Christmas with my family - they live in the midwest, while MuMu & P live 5 or 6 hours' drive northeast of us. Depending on how much longer God gives MuMu, we might end up going north for a funeral before going west for Christmas (or post-Christmas), or cutting our midwest trip short to head back east for a funeral. Or MuMu might hang in there until after New Year's. As the Russian proverb says, God knows and he ain't tellin'! (OK, so it's a colloquial translation, but it made Mom laugh.)
Pray for us all - it's been a helluva year.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I'm just glad I didn't get this last week - I would have had to pass on going to MuMu's for Thanksgiving, as I couldn't risk infecting her, or the Chief's brother, for that matter.
I had to cancel my voice lesson, which was disappointing, as I missed last week because we were headed for Thanksgiving with the Chief's family. Now it'll be a 3-week gap between lessons. At least it gives me more time to make duplicates of some of my repertory candidates, and maybe even work on memorizing some of 'em. Not today, though; I've got all the energy of an overcooked noodle.
And I find myself doing my usual: "I'm home today anyway, so I'll have time to do X and Y and Z." Time, yes; energy, no. As I have to remind myself, the reason I'm home is that I'm not up to working; that includes attempting to be productive at home.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
The pot roast had 1 lb. of mushrooms to about the same amount of meat - good gravy! It tasted different without the flavored-sodium "soup mix", but the mushrooms & canned (low-sodium) mushroom soup, we got a lot of great gravy. I also tried a slightly different cut of meat, with less fat; good choice. I'll have to remember to get the loin pot roast instead of chuck roast next time the Chief wants pot roast.
Tomorrow I'll make a batch of veggie-beef soup to use up the shredded cabbage I didn't use in the squash soup. Some of that will go to one of the neighbors, some to the freezer. If I had any yeast in the house, I'd be tempted to make some bread to go with it.
I shouldn't have to do much more than reheat stuff for dinner the rest of the week, as we now have enough food on hand for a siege: leftover pot roast from Monday, enough "experimental" pot roast for one person, a bit of turkey left over from Thanksgiving with the Chief's family, salmon spread, squash soup, veggie-beef soup by tomorrow night, and fixings for the usual "vat o' salad" that I take to work for lunch. And except for the pumpkin pie, it's all healthy, too!
The Chief spent at least 3 hours raking leaves, yet volunteered to do all the dishes I dirtied in the course of my cooking fit - what a guy!
Monday, November 22, 2010
The butternut squash were much more cooperative. They have far less to scrape out, for one thing, and these were just moist enough to puree beautifully. I'm looking forward to making soup with them this weekend and freezing at least half of it for future meals.
I always sautee the mushrooms that go into the pot roast, which makes the cooking meat smell even better. Between that and the baked squashes, our kitchen smelled very good indeed this weekend.
I think this coming weekend may rival it, though. The Chief wants me to try a low-sodium variation of the pot roast recipe (it's a huge favorite of his, so he won't suffer by having it again so soon), and of course I'm planning to make pumpkin pie and butternut squash soup. I'm making myself hungry just thinking about it. ;)
This afternoon, though, the wrist started getting a little achey so I stopped by a drugstore on the way home to get a brace. Nothing serious - no metal strips or anything like that - just enough to provide a little support and remind me to baby the wrist for a bit.
Who says rehearsals are boring? That little pratfall certainly got everyone stirred up! All the more reason to replace my character shoes, which have always made my feet hurt anyway. Next weekend's To Do list just got "Buy new character shoes" added to it.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I treated myself to a much-needed massage on Saturday. I hadn't realized how knotted up I was until my favorite massage therapist started untying them; some of my muscles still ache a little from holding those knots for so long. I'm hoping to get out to the cabin again sometime in December, in which case I'll definitely try to book another massage. And maybe I'll get another one to get the new year off to a good start...
I also stopped by our nurseryman out there to get some more compost and have a bit of a visit.
The Chief & I did a bit of antiquing before evening mass, then ended up going out to dinner instead of having left-overs. He enjoyed his bison burger and I had a very good portobella cap sandwich with melted goat cheese and fried (!) spinach on it.
Today I headed home early enough to go over to DB's and help him get 250 spring bulbs into the ground; housewarming present for his new house. He said narcissi remind him of his mom, so it's a good thing we had more of those (63, assorted) than about anything else. I had also bought him 60 assorted crocus bulbs, 20 assorted mini-irises, 17 red tulips and 10 snowdrops. I told him I'll probably want to swing by several times during the spring to see how everything comes up. Several of the narcissus bulbs were doubles; as I told him, those are two-fers.
Still had plenty of daylight left when I zipped home to get a shower and some lunch before rehearsal. We sound pretty darn good already, and it's fun to watch our MD's face when we hit a particularly meaty passage - he lights up at the richness of the sound. Helping that is the fact that another show he's directing, which is in tech this week, has a much smaller cast and therefore a smaller sound.
I got home to find the Chief starting dinner (the leftovers we passed on last night), so we had a nice, cozy dinner a deux and a quiet evening at home. Lovely end to a lovely weekend.
Monday, November 08, 2010
No, we haven't caught up on our domestic duties yet, but it was nice to kick off the traces and have a date.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Roofers were also swarming over the shed roof. It seems the pitch is slight enough that it should have a composite roof instead of the shingles that are on it, so they're replacing that roof with the proper kind, as well as repairing the hole made by a huge branch that hit the roof ridge in a windstorm a week or two ago. The Chief will like that - it'll mean his future woodshop will be good and weatherproof.
Hurray for roofers who not only return phone calls but show up in force to do the work!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
The one downer is that the Chief is opting out. He's had his fill of Pirates, hates Halloween, and I suspect would much rather not be seen with me if I'm in costume. :D
Belle Helene read-thru tomorrow - we'll get our copies of the score & libretto, find out what the director has in mind for us, start digging into the music. It's been too long - can't wait to get into a production again!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Of my 9-person group, 8 of us sang unremarkably. The 9th, however, did a vibrant rendition of Eddie Rabbitt's "Kentucky Rain" - obviously well rehearsed, and he had a lovely, rich baritone. He was also the only one of the lot of us who actually sounded country. I don't know how he did with the dance combo - I was too busy worrying about how I was doing with it - but I'll be very much surprised if they don't cast him.
Here's where I stand on the 3 auditions:
- I've just been offered chorus in La Belle Helene;
- still waiting to hear about Romeo & Juliet, though I'm expecting "thanks but no thanks"; and
- we were assured last night that we all will hear one way or the other by Friday night about Whorehouse.
When I saw the e-mail with La Belle Helene in the subject line and callbacks not until Thursday, I had a moment of excitement; until I opened it and found the "thank you for auditioning; we'd like to offer you a part in the chorus". Sigh. I keep hoping that eventually I'll break outta the chorus with this group, but there are too many other, younger, better mezzos out there. Still, given a choice between ensemble in this show and in Whorehouse, I'll go with this group, largely because I want to work with this director. She does this professionally, so I want to see how she works. I do want to work with the other group, but their rehearsals are quite a bit further away (17 miles one way vs 8 miles round trip). I'll just keep auditioning for them; eventually I'll get in.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Yesterday's was for a production of Romeo & Juliet. The director got us chuckling in his introductory remarks when, after thanking us for auditioning, he mentioned he was pleased to see how many of us weren't auditioning for Juliet. Maybe because I spent so much energy on Friday's audition, I wasn't at all nervous about yesterday's, even though I went in without a prepared monologue. I just did a cold reading of one of the monologues from the audition site which I'd downloaded only a few hours earlier. As I was doing it, I felt my reading was a bit too same-y - not enough variety of emotions that might have been displayed - but I don't think I did too badly when they had us reading scene selections. Didn't fall on my face or otherwise disgrace myself, so I'm satisfied with how I did. I didn't cover myself in glory, though, and there were at least 2 women there who did quite well, with more auditions tonight, so I expect a "thanks but no thanks" call sometime in the next week.
Now to spend some time with my audition song for tomorrow night (Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), do laundry, fix something for lunch, put some dinner on the table...
The Chief was out mowing the weeds today while I was doing some photo organizing for insurance purposes. Suddenly I hear him tap-tap-tapping on the front door - there was a hummingbird in the impatiens bed! I grabbed my camera and started clicking away. I'd need a much better camera with a very fast shutter to keep up with that little hummer, but I did get one or two pics that weren't too bad.
This one was a different breed than the ones we've seen at the cabin - smaller, with a long beak or proboscis or whatever, and mostly browns. At least, that's what color the blur was. (I ended up deleting nearly half the pictures because they were too blurry to see anything but smears of color.) Given its size, color and shape, the little bird looked more like a large hornet or something similar.
It kept zipping from one flower to another, concentrating on the pink ones. It considered & rejected one of the purple ones and seemed to ignore the red ones entirely. It also zipped away several times, stopping briefly to check out the Chief's trouser leg, the can of WD40, or the reel of bright-orange extension cord (it's an electric mower) before returning to the pink impatiens. I wonder if it'll tell the rest of the family about the buffet...
Mom loved hummingbirds, always had at least one or two feeders stocked. I wish I could call her up & tell her about our little visitor. I've been planting impatiens in that bed for 10 years at least and this is the first time we've ever seen a hummingbird anywhere near them. I hope they make this a regular haunt.
Friday, October 22, 2010
This was the first night of auditions; the 2nd is Sunday, with callbacks Thursday night. Only 2 roles for mezzos, and I have no idea how many of us will be trying for those roles. I'm not confident that I'll get one, but if I make callbacks, I'll be very chuffed indeed.
It was also nice to chat with friends from the company, some of whom I hadn't seen since Grand Duke back in March. I'd've stayed longer, but I hadn't had much dinner so I was getting hungry.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
We also spent a little time on the piece I sang for my Pirates audition, as a sort of Plan B, e.g., if my allergies decide to act up so that the Gs become problematic. That went well, too; nailed it on only the 2nd or 3rd time through. NA was very complimentary, too; told me I have a "mammoth" voice, an operatic heft.
There are 2 other shows auditioning next weekend that I'm seriously considering trying for. I can't see me having time to work up a "classical monologue" for Romeo & Juliet; it'll have to be cold readings from whatever sides they have on hand. I'm not terribly optimistic about that one because there are only 3 roles for older women and there'll probably be a lot of competition for them, but I do want to start auditioning for that company and eventually do a show or few with them.
And I don't know what to sing if I decide to audition for Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I got a copy of the soundtrack and decided the music sounds like it would be a lot of fun to sing. I'd have to choose carefully - I have to sound like I'm auditioning for the Grand Ol' Opry, not grand opera. I've never attempted singing country, just Broadway, so I may audition just to stretch myself a bit.
Of the 3 shows, I figure I've got the best chance at getting cast in the Offenbach, and after today's lesson, I might even have a shot at something more than chorus, depending, of course, on who else auditions, what the directors are looking for and so on. R&J is the longest shot - I'm assuming there'll be a lot of women auditioning for those 3 roles, most of whom will have a lot more experience doing classical plays than I do. Whether I get offered anything in Whorehouse will depend on whether I can sound non-operatic; given how hard I've been working to achieve that sound, it'll be a different kind of challenge to keep it in check.
Wish me luck!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
My big question is: do I keep the DX, which has about a 9"-diagonal screen, or go with the smaller (6" diagonal) 3G WiFi, which weighs a little less than half what the DX does? I think I'm probably willing to give up the larger "page" in favor of greater portability. I might be a bit more inclined to carry it around if it's smaller and lighter, and really, that's what it's all about. Why have it if I'm not comfortable using it?
Monday, October 11, 2010
The weather was absolutely perfect, too - very warm for October, with sunny skies and just enough clouds to be ornamental. Thus none of us minded when we were directed to a charming little courtyard for drinks and hors d'oeuvres after the ceremony. It was nice & shady, with lovely gardens (I should've taken notes on the shade plants they used) and a tiny little fountain.
For dinner we repaired to the Stained Glass Hall, where a band entertained us with standards (I knew all of them - I love that stuff!) until we'd finished eating. Then the band switched from American Songbook to American Bandstand, playing a variety of lively things - Beatles, country, B-52s et al. - with a few ballads mixed in for slow dancing. The Chief claims to have 2 left feet - he's certainly not one to dance if he can avoid it - but he did get me up for one slow dance.
The flowers were beautiful - burgundy, deep oranges and pinks with a few lighter colors to set them off. I don't usually care for "fall colors" - I'm not an orange person - but these were elegantly done. The bride's hair was smoothed back into a classically elegant bun with deep red flowers around it, which looked gorgeous against her dark hair.
The bride is an enthusiastic person anyway, so it was fun watching her throughout. During the actual vows, she started to get misty-eyed and had to borrow the groom's hanky. The second time that happened, she just pulled it back out of his pocket herself, dabbed at her eyes, and replaced it, which was good for a chuckle from the guests. She was obviously thrilled with the whole thing - loved the band, loved dancing, loved answering questions about their plans. If that girl had been any higher with excitement, we'd have been pulling her down from the VERY high ceiling! :D I can't help but wonder how she'll be when they decide to start a family and she learns she's pregnant.
Mostly I'm looking forward to the new challenges. The learning curve will be straight up initially because I'll have so many different things to get read up on, but that variety will keep me happy and engaged far longer than if this office worked only one or two things. They also get a lot of new people rotating through on assorted in-house "apprenticeship" programs, so I'll get to do a bit of mentoring, as well as learning from them and enjoying their energy and enthusiasm.
Tomorrow will probably be devoted to things like finding where my desk is, whether there's an office coffee mess or snack fund, how big the office fridge is, getting something with everyone's names so I can start learning who's who, and taking care of such administrivia as making sure Payroll and HR have my new info. With luck, I'll even get a little actual work done, if only to get added to their database so I can start reading up on their projects.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Today found the Chief up on the back part of the roof. It's nearly flat, so we have a rubber/composite surface there rather than shingles. He was painting it with a sealant that also fills any pinholes that might have developed. The stuff has aluminum in it, so it's very silvery and shiny - keeps that part of the house cooler in the summer. It also looked kinda funky splattered on the Chief's face; the Silver Shadow? Silver Fox?
This piece has a couple of phrases near the end that start on the G above the staff and descend from there. That G has been something of a challenge for me, as my throat keeps trying to tighten up when I get to the F at the top of the staff. Warming up to a Bb or a C hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped, but yesterday NA gave me a couple of exercises that will help. Better, we were woodshedding the "dramatic intent" of the piece and I was concentrating hard enough on that that the G finally came freely. Took some doing, but the last couple of times I got through the song, that G actually felt pretty good.
La Belle Helene auditions are still 2 weeks away. If I can discipline myself to practice most days, if not every day, and try the exercises NA gave me, I should be able to go into that audition and surprise the MD (for whom I've auditioned for any number of productions over the past 6 or 7 years at least) with how much more I can do and how much better I'm singing these days. That, at least, is my hope. Now to get to work...
Monday, October 04, 2010
Just to emphasize - he volunteered to pick me and my stuff up from work, driving downtown at the height of rush hour, so I wouldn't have to schlep my "luggage" on a crowded train. Not only that, but he volunteered to get up much earlier than necessary to take me to the train so I wouldn't have to retrieve my car from the lot after work.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - he's definitely a keeper!
We spent Thursday night at the cabin on our way out. Friday morning was the kind that makes us SO glad we have the place: just a touch of chill in the air, sun streaming through the leaves which are just beginning to turn, birds flitting about - the kind of day that must have inspired the psalmist to write "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!" Glorious!
Monday, September 27, 2010
And come spring, if i get around to dividing my toad lily, I may take one or two over there to add to the garden. That way, he'll have some color starting to bloom around the time everything else is dying out for the year.
Looks like I'll need to divide this baby come spring. If I do and find more than just 2 or 3 bulbs or whatever, I'll probably take one over to DB's house and add it to his garden.
What was nice, though, was the way the artistic director told me he was "thrilled" with how well I'd sung. We chatted briefly about my voice teacher, then he mentioned the company is thinking of doing a concert version of The Gondoliers "this winter" and he'd like me to "be involved". Even if that never happens, for whatever reason, it's nice to hear someone trying to line me up for a future project - good for my ego. ;-)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
When I went in for my turn, they just had my sing the first 2 verses of When Frederic was a Little Lad, as the director hadn't been there Wednesday night to hear me sing. Today's panel consisted of the MD, director and costumer. Not sure why she was there, but she's a nice lady, and smiled throughout as if she hadn't heard the song before and was enjoying it. When I finished, the MD asked if I'd been taking lessons, as my last 2 auditions for the company were the best he'd heard from me, that my voice was perfectly "in line". Not sure exactly what he meant by that, but he obviously meant it as a compliment.
They had the other Ruth read, as well as the Frederic who went in ahead of me and who was at auditions the same night I was, so I was a little surprised that they didn't have me read. When the phone call comes (or doesn't come), I'll find out whether that was a good or a bad sign.
Friday, September 24, 2010
So far, his finger is still numb from the anesthesia; he's a bit nervous about how much it's going to hurt once the anesthesia wears off. The doc gave him 2 pain prescriptions, though, so we're prepared.
I'm just glad it's over and relieved that, at least so far, it seems to have been a completely routine procedure. I knew my worries were unrealistic, but glad to have that confirmed.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
J is quite an accomplished pianist based on what he played tonight; once he figured out our tempos, he played as if he could do it in his sleep. Maybe he could; our usual accompanist, no slouch herself, was quoted as joking she didn't want to play anywhere near him as she felt he was so much better. E&M seem to be quite capable musicians themselves; both have nice voices (soprano & tenor), and he conducted us through an a capella piece they chose for communion. A few of us stayed after everything was put away and chatted with them for a bit; I think they (and their adorable tow-headed, chubby baby) and J will be a wonderful addition to the parish's music ministry.
We auditioned in a cavernous church social hall built with cinderblock walls and a tile floor. Not fun to dance on - my feet are complaining today - nor a singer's favorite acoustics; you couldn't hear yourself at all, which made it very difficult to tell how you were doing. However, I must have done well enough, as I'm called back for Ruth, piratical maid of all work and nursemaid to Frederic! Callbacks are Sunday, which gives me a bit of time to refresh my memory of the part. One theater friend has said that she considers a callback a "win", as it means they saw something there they liked. At callbacks you can lose the part because they want someone thinner, fatter, darker, fairer, or who doesn't tower over the 4'11" Pirate King - things you can't control. But they liked you enough to want to see more - a good thing!
I've already told my current and 2 previous voice teachers, a few friends from my last Pirates and a few others I knew would be happy for me. I'm looking forward to Sunday and a chance to do more singing and clowning around in the G&S style. I've got my fingers crossed that the fact I know the show cold will count in my favor, given that it opens just 4 weeks from Saturday!
The Chief isn't worried about the procedure, but is a bit concerned about post-op pain and what it'll take to keep it at bay. I, on the other hand, find myself unduly nervous about the surgery itself; I find myself dreading that something awful will happen and he'll lost the use of that finger or even the hand! The doctor was matter-of-fact about it, as if this is as routine as a tonsillectomy, but the thought anyone cutting into the Chief's hand and tinkering with how his fingers work... =:o Pray for his healing and my peace of mind!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Those community theaters with sufficient space - heck, professional theaters! - might want to consider posting these prominently. I've certainly sat near many an audience member who could stand to be told of theater-going etiquette. In my experience, it's been the adults, not children, who were worst about talking during performances. Maybe I should start taking copies of this list with me when I go to see a show...
How to Be a Good Theatergoer
TheaterMania offers 10 handy tips to make the most of your theatergoing experience!
1) If you're going to buy your tickets directly at the box office, please be organized and considerate of others. Bring with you a list of all dates and times that work for you (and your guests) and ask the box office which of them has the best seats. The person behind the window will guide you to the best possible options; that's his or her job! If what you are offered isn't satisfactory, move away from the window and don't get back on line until you have a new plan in mind.
2) If you are at the box office or are ordering tickets on the phone and have a discount offer, present it or mention it immediately -- before asking for your seats. While almost all discounts are for "best available seats," please read the restrictions; some dates and/or seats may not be available under the terms of the agreement and the ticket agent does not necessarily have the discretion to make exceptions. And under all circumstances, please be kind to the box office people!
3) If you arrive at the theater or discover beforehand that you can't find your tickets, go to the box office; they will be happy to assist you. If you've purchased the ticket by credit card, a voucher for your seats can be arranged fairly quickly.
4) Make sure you know what time the show starts. While 8pm on evenings, 2pm on Saturdays, and 3pm on Sundays are standard "start times," your show's curtain time may vary. Not only is being late disruptive to other patrons, but certain shows do not seat latecomers under any circumstances! (Plus, who wants to miss a musical's opening number?!)
5) Give yourself a sufficient amount of time to get comfortably seated, go to the bathroom, or buy a drink or snack. In most cases, arriving at the theater 15 or 20 minutes in advance should be fine -- especially since most theaters don't open their doors until then. And since you have a preassigned seat, there's no real reason to be early and have to wait in line in the sweltering heat or freezing cold. And remember: it may be easier to use the bathroom in your hotel or at the restaurant where you're dining right before the show than waiting until 7:45 and dealing with long lines at the theater!
6) If you are bringing children with you, gently remind them they are in a public place and need to behave appropriately. For example, they need to sit still -- kicking the person sitting in front of you is simply not allowed -- and talking of any sort (even a whisper) is not acceptable.
7) Turn off your cell phones before the show starts; don't text or use your blackberry during the show; and make sure everything you turned on is back off after intermission. These aren't just suggestions; these are rules -- and in some case, city laws!
8) Do everything you can to make sure your fellow theatergoers can also enjoy the show. Remove your hat. Keep your coat to yourself. Unwrap those candy wrappers in advance. Don't talk during the show. It's not always easy -- we know that. Do it anyway!
9) If you see a celebrity in or outside the theater, please be respectful. Most celebrities are happy to meet and talk with their fans -- or even sign an autograph -- in the appropriate circumstance. Don't interrupt their conversation. Don't start screaming. And don't take their picture in the theater (since any sort of picture-taking is not allowed)!10) When the show is over, do try to leave the theater quickly. Patrons sitting on or near the aisle need to make an extra effort to get up as soon as they can, so those sitting in the middle of the row can exit promptly. If you want to meet cast members afterwards, gather in an orderly fashion at the "stage door" where most actors exit and are happy to shake hands or sign autographs. It can be the perfect end to a perfect evening.
The later audition date also gives us time to run out & buy a new color cartridge for the printer so I can print a copy of my resume to take to auditions.
Getting to fall allergy season, but my voice felt good in church today (except across the lower passaggio, which is still difficult).
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Chief, with Dad riding shotgun, picked me up at work on Monday and we all headed off to W'burg. Beautiful day, and because I adjusted my schedule so I could leave at 2, we avoided most of the traffic. The Chief & I spent a few hours at Jamestown Settlement (their new museum is very well designed - nicely laid out, good organization, so you can immerse or browse according to your mood) on Tuesday but walking around in the heat & sun wore us out so much that we ended up eating take-out in our room. Wednesday we took Dad to "historic Yorktown", which turned out to be little more than a bunch of shops. Because Dad's knee was limiting his walking, we skipped the Waterman's museum, but there was a tall ship docked there that you could explore for free, which the Chief & I enjoyed. Wednesday night was the dinner, with a Col. Shaymes (sp?), one of the last surviving Band of Brothers, as the guest speaker. I sat next to him at dinner and he was a gracious dinner companion. When he learned that one of his fellow survivors now lives in Dad's town, he took Dad's contact information to pass on. Today we headed home and made good time - 2 pit stops and a grocery stop added only an hour to our travel time.
I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen - making my usual "vat o' salad" for lunches, mixing up some salmon spread for snacks (it would have been lunch, but we had to wait for the lemon juice to thaw), and heating some spaghetti for lunch. Laundry took us to dinner time; a nice, simple chicken dinner was a welcome change after the rich food of the past few days.
Tomorrow, the Chief plans to take him to the local fishmarkets for oysters on the half shell and to pick something for dinner tomorrow night, though the Chief wasn't sure what else they were going to do to fill the day while I'm at work. Saturday we hope to take Dad to the Eastern Shore for more seafood, perhaps a ferry ride, and definitely some time looking at water, boats, etc. No plans for Sunday yet, but we may go out for brunch.
Monday, September 06, 2010
I like the Codebreaker crossword. No clues, but it always uses all 26 letters of the alphabet. Doing it online means that if I fill in, say, an A, the software fills in all the A's so I can see where they are and use that to figure out the remaining words. I can't always solve it, but I always enjoy trying.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Here's hoping this one lasts a good long time so we don't have to go through that again anytime soon!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I've got several tiny scars (lotsa moles removed at various times) but the one with the best story is the "seam" from the side of my nose past the corner of my mouth (with a few "extra" fillips around the lips) down to my jawline, where my friend's brother's dog bit me in the face. When the plastic surgeon finished sewing, my face was so full of black sutures that I looked like the bride of Frankenstein, especially a few days later, when the bruises started turning that lovely greenish-yellow color they get when they fade.
Monday, August 23, 2010
One more oddball credit for my theater resume, along with having sewn a 25-foot muslin cyclorama and coached members of a Patience cast in the playing of finger cymbals. Come to think of it, I've contributed finger cymbals to two Patience productions, along with a tambourine or two. You just never know when it'll prove handy to have a bellydancer in your cast. ;-)
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tomorrow we're taking 2 of the Chief's orientals to be appraised before donating them to one of his favorite charities as auction items. We may also do a bit of dishwasher shopping, since ours died on Thursday. The repairman diagnosed the problem today as a bad mother board, but won't know how much it'll cost until he can check the price on Monday. Won't be cheap - the repairman thought it could run $250-$300 - but if it's less than half the price of a new one, we'll fix the one we've got.
Friday, August 20, 2010
This has been hanging over the heads of everyone involved in the liturgy, including church musicians, who can't order new copies of current hymnals because the service text is going to change, yet haven't been able to get new versions because the publishers and composers couldn't print any until a new translation is authorized.
Perhaps to start to stretch my vocal envelope, as it were, she helped me pick a new audition piece: Offenbach's Hymn to Bacchus, from Orphee aux Enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). It's quite range-y - goes down to an A below middle C and up to the A below high C, a full 2 octaves. The lower A is no problem, but that upper one? I'm gonna hafta work to get into training for that one, but my teacher seems to think that if I get on track with "focused practice", I'll be fine. Sure hope so; I anticipate needing it sometime in October or November.
Better, my HR rep is now working on the electronwork to lock in my next assignment. It's a good one that I hadn't even known was out there, and a colleague who knows a few folks who work in that office told me they all love it there.
This bookends a work week that started out on a high note: I got in Monday morning to find an auto-message from HR that I'd been given a cash award, and not a small one! Good timing, as we just got the bill for all those funerals we've been traveling to lately.
Which has me thinking about my biggest losses to date. The Chief tries to make it happy - "your mom's finally getting to meet her granddaughter" - but in a way that makes it worse. I know Mom's death hasn't really, truly registered with me yet, and I don't expect it to until we go out to my family's for Christmas and Mom's not there.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We've got big plans for the "library" once the desk is outta there. The Chief moved the kitchen table in there the other day and replaced it with a drop-leaf table from the basement. That way I can leave a sewing project out while I work on it without affecting the kitchen table.
Once the desk and old computer are gone, I can finally set up my keyboard again and hang a mirror nearby so I have a practice area. I've already got my music shelved for easy access (except for the stack of loose stuff I still need to organize), so eventually the library will also function as a studio. The Chief already has his workbench and tools, so I suppose it's my turn now. ;-)
Now to dust and shelve (or cull) a few more books...
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010
- The Chief's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January and put on home hospice care.
- My mom died very suddenly of cancer in February.
- Her older brother, who's been fighting cancer for several years, was put on hospice care at the end of April.
- The Chief's cousin learned in May that her cancer was back again.
- I just flew out to KY last week for the funeral of KL's partner (might as well have been her husband). He was only 42 years old, so his family & friends will be reeling from the shock for quite awhile.
- And we got the call about my uncle earlier this evening. God finally answered his prayers and called him Home. KY funeral last week, MO funeral this week. The Chief is debating whether to go with me or stay put, in case he needs to travel to his mom's funeral. We were just up there last weekend for a visit; my MIL looked pale but seemed otherwise strong, though that doesn't necessarily mean much.
The Chief barely shut the door behind the carpenter on Thursday before starting in on the next big project - cleaning up the mess and putting everything away. We'd already done some, of course - we put away most of the bathroom stuff a week or two ago, when the cabinet was finished, and I filled most of the built-in bookshelves a month or more ago. However, now that all the tools and construction supplies are gone or put away, we can start in earnest to dust and wash and vacuum. The curtains in the living room and office went into the wash yesterday; I hope to wash the rest of the lace curtains tomorrow. Tonight the Chief & I reassembled the guest bed frame, though we won't add the mattress & bedding until we finish cleaning in there.
Two reasons for the big push - Dad is coming for a visit in mid-September and, more importantly, we can't wait to have the place looking like a home again, instead of a dusty old attic.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Dad will be coming for a visit in September; we're looking forward to showing him our nice, new bathrooms and the rebuilt closet and lovely floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in what will be the guest room once we get everything put away and cleaned up.
This week's schedule is pretty chopped up, which will make it a challenge to stay on top of everything. I've got a few extra hours on the books; if I do this right, I'll be able to take off a bit early on Friday and get a head start on my weekend.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Of these 3, I've only heard of Douglas Adams. I may have to check out the other 2 the next time I'm at the library.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Now if only I could get the temperature back down into the 90s...
Thursday, July 01, 2010
The Chief was back out at the cabin yesterday taking care of last-minute checks - water on, clean sheets & towels, cobwebs chased, instructions, keys, info on things to do, maps... I think he's more excited than I am that they're taking us up on the offer.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
We had friends join us at the cabin this weekend (temps in the 90s and no a/c - we spent most of the weekend being limp and letting their baby entertain us). When I mentioned I was sewing curtains for DB, or maybe it was the costuming I've helped with, she wondered if I'd be willing to show her how to sew. Then this morning she asked me how to make chicken soup w/ a carcass; picking up on my passing reference to drippings for gravy, she followed up by saying she didn't know how to make gravy from drippings, either. I've since sent her instructions for both gravy and chicken soup, and said that if she buys the supplies for a basic sewing project, I'll help her through it. They live about an hour away so we'll have to make an effort to schedule this, but it should be fun.
Explaining my choice of curtain fabric for DB's kitchen made me feel like something of an expert, and having my girlfriend ask me for help with so many domestic things makes me feel that I actually know some stuff worth knowing. ;)