Thursday, May 20, 2010

Donate miles

If you've got frequent flyer miles you can't use, put them to good use. Fisher House provides free on-base housing to family members traveling to visit a loved one in the military who's recuperating in a military hospital.

The Fisher House Foundation also administers several other programs supporting military families, including the Hero Miles program, which provides free airfare to military members traveling for medical treatment and for their families' travel to visit them. The way Fisher House can do this is by having individuals donate their frequent flyer miles.

Different airlines have different donation procedures, so the Fisher House website has made it easier to donate by listing links to each airline's process here. It even includes instructions for donating miles you earn with a credit card. If you can't use those miles yourself, donate them to someone who needs them rather than let them go to waste. And if you can use them but would rather donate, well, even better!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coming into the remodeling home stretch at long last

The built-in bookshelves and closet are looking good; they just need the finish trim. I hope to be able to start loading up the new bookshelves this weekend - can't wait! The carpenter will then start assembling the wall cabinet for the back bathroom, which we hope will be finished and installed by the end of next week.

The contractors finished the drywall in the back bathroom today and will put the molding around the doors and window tomorrow, along with a little bit of finishing work. The Chief plans to start painting tomorrow, hoping to prime and apply one coat of paint, then do a second coat on Saturday.

This evening the Chief and I went back to the tile place to finalize our order. The installer still has to get back to us, and of course we still have to order the tile, but once it comes in, that'll be the last step - 3 or 4 days to do all the tile work (floor and shower) and we can do the "bye bye, contractors!" happy dance!

We'll still have all the construction dust to get rid of (and drywall dust is remarkably insidious!), but at long last we'll be able to start putting things away, after living with things "stored" in the living room, dining room, and kitchen or jumbled up on the spare bedroom all year (the demolition started before Christmas). We'll definitely be throwing a party to celebrate once this is all behind us!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interesting lesson today

My voice teacher, a soprano, has become more & more convinced that I'm a soprano too. This isn't a huge surprise, as my two previous teachers spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out whether I was a soprano or a mezzo with a top extension. Today we closed my lesson with her pulling an aria for me to start working on; one of Susanna's from The Marriage of Figaro. The first soprano aria she pulled for me was something by Puccini but it left me cold; Mozart, on the other hand... Well, it's Mozart - what's not to like? No telling when, or if, I'll ever perform it, but it'll be fun to work on, and a new challenge.

Survived Mother's Day

First Mother's Day since Mom died wasn't as bad as I'd feared. A few tears in church (especially as the prayer for mothers who'd lost a child was immediately followed by one for mothers who'd died), and in the dressing room as people came in saying "Happy Mother's Day", but having the show to distract me was a big help.

Called Dad, who sounded OK. He'd gone with K and family to the middle son's college to have lunch there, which he enjoyed. I need to call him tonight, too, as it's Mom's birthday.

Sure wish I could tell Mom about Wednesday's audition (sang well enough, but sight-read poorly; oh well), my garden, the remodeling progress...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

How my garden grows

It's early days in the garden, but things are looking promising. The geraniums & million bells for the deck planters are looking just fine, despite having waited 2 weeks in their little nursery pots for me to plant them, and the tomato plant is doing just fine. The thyme and (partia? pratia?) I bought as groundcovers for the driveway are hanging in there too. Best of all, I still have some mazus reptans from a few years ago that came back despite the poor soil and the abuse it took over the winter. (That part of the driveway got rather trenched as we tried to maneuver cars in & out the narrow channel we'd shoveled out after all the blizzards.)

My impatiens haven't done much, but they haven't died yet, either. The ones closest to the house are so far under the eaves that they always need watering, and one of the 3 I planted between the downspout and the driveway got dug up, probably by a squirrel, and doesn't seem to want to reestablish itself, poor thing.

One of the azaleas in front took quite a brutal beating during the winter and may have to be replaced. The sad-looking bush has only a few leaves & blooms on it; for the most part, it's nothing but a great big bundle of sticks. I'd hate to lose it, but maybe I'll replace it with a forsythia, or try something new and get a camellia, which I'm told do well in our clay-ey soil and climate.

For the first time in several years, my irises actually bloomed! This morning when I left for work, there was a single yellow iris standing tall in a clump of little boxwoods, and a couple of purple ones right next to some (trillium?) of the same shade of purple. Lovely!

"You have a big mouth"

Good voice lesson today, as I prep for an audition tomorrow for a (paying!) church gig. I'm only auditioning for the list of substitutes (too many ailing out-of-town relatives to make a full-time commitment right now), but it would be quite an accomplishment to make the list. My voice teacher was telling me that there's only so much she can do - I have to practice, and practice enough that I learn to feel when I'm doing things right. She assured me I can sing "inspired" if I just do the work: "You have the voice and the musicality, you have a singer's body and a singer's mouth." When I asked what a singer's body and mouth looked like, she mentioned the size of my ribcage, my cheekbones and "you have a big mouth". She was referring to the size of the resonating cavity, but it was a pretty funny moment as she realized that last comment could conceivably be taken the wrong way. :D

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Funny? Depends...

Spotted this on someone's Live Journal page the day before Birdie opened. Very funny at the time, but at that night's dress rehearsal one of the scenes I'm in completely fell apart. Maybe we shoulda had our lines written on the inside of our paws...