Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sick - phooey!

Started out as a normal day - got up, dragged my sleepy self into some clothes, fetched the paper... Then the bug hit - pesky little GI bug that had me making 5 or 6 trips to the bathroom in less than an hour. Thinking it was simply a matter of too much of a good thing at dinner last night, I debated going into work anyway - spent all day yesterday moving desks and getting reorganized, not doing any actual work - but decided not to risk it. That turned out to be the right decision, as I later realized I'm also running a low-grade fever.

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

Having fun dirtying dishes

Another food-producing weekend - salmon spread after we got home yesterday afternoon, with leftovers for dinner. Today was the big push - an "experimental" pot roast, testing how good it is without the 1750mg-of-sodium onion soup mix; butternut squash soup (huge batch - filled 5 4-cup containers, so 1.25 gallons); and pumpkin pie.

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

Kitchen diva

I spent most of Saturday in the kitchen - baked & pureed a pumpkin and 2 butternut squash, the usual vat o' salad for lunches, got a pot roast going in the crock pot. The pumpkin was particularly labor-intensive, as the strings & seeds didn't want to let go and the pumpkin "meat" was a little dry, making it harder to puree. It had a lovely deep color, though, so I'll be making a pumpkin pie next weekend. (That's the problem with going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving - no leftovers.)

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. ;)

Adventures in blocking

Yesterday was our first blocking rehearsal and our director decided to start out with some movement since, as she noted, auditions hadn't included a dance or movement sequence. A little bit of grapevine, then a bit of very basic charleston, in groups small enough that she could watch everyone in them. I was doing pretty well, but the soles on my character shoes were obviously slicker than I realized, as my left heel suddenly shot out from under me. It must have looked like something right out of an old cartoon - felt like my heel went forward and up! I landed on my left, er, padding and caught myself w/ my left hand. Hurt like crazy at first, but after a while I was OK. I took something for it last night and again this morning, just in case.

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

Methinks I need a copier.

I've recently bought several songs from musicnotes.com for potential audition, recital or "future reference" repertory pieces (I may yet put a cabaret together), and there's a how-to book of 1920s and 1930s hairstyles I want to download & print for LBH. Either I run to the local Kinko's competitor to make copies of some of these things and get the book printed & bound, or I invest in a better printer that will do 2-sided copies, among other things.

Oh. what a beautiful weekend!

The Chief & I got out to the cabin this weekend; first time I'd been there since the beginning of October. We had unseasonably mild weather - highs in the 60s! - and sun. Still a few leaves on most of the trees, with some sugar maples & burning bush retaining enough leaves to look spectacular in direct sunlight!

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

Does anyone know...

Does anyone happen to know how the Gallup pollsters managed to get my cellphone number when it's on the Do Not Call list? This is the first time I've gotten a call on that number that wasn't family, friends or the occasional wrong number. (There's this lovely woman somewhere in southern Virginia whose friend or relative has a number that's just one digit off mine. Every so often, she misdials and gets me instead.) I tried to cut the guy off politely - he's just doing his job, after all, and wasn't rude or otherwise ill-behaved - but I haven't slept well the past few nights because of this cold I'm getting, so it was hard not to get crabby about it.

What a lovely day for a stroll

Saturday was chilly but sunny so the Chief decided we should ignore our respective "honey do" lists and take a day trip, or at least a half-day trip. We ended up at one of the lovelier campuses in the area, though we couldn't tour the historic chapel because they seemed to be tag-teaming weddings in there. We did get to stroll past the older buildings, admire the "superintendent's" lovely gardens, watch a tour group led by a costumed docent, and treated ourselves to a nice lunch at a restaurant with pub aspirations and some excellent crab cakes. We got home in plenty of time for an early dinner and movie at home.

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

Cooking up a storm

Sunday was a major "kitchen goddess" day. Between church and rehearsal I fixed a pan of brownies, some spinach/chick pea stew and a big pot of vegetarian bolognese sauce (a huge eggplant, 1 lb. of carrots and 1/2 lb. diced mushrooms were the principle ingredients), so that the kitchen smelled absolutely fantastic by the time I left for rehearsal. When I got home, I then fixed some salmon spread and a pot of meat sauce, which tastes good both on its own and mixed with the eggplant sauce. Got a hungry army? We've got enough food to feed one! Well, OK, maybe not an army, maybe just a platoon. Or one hungry teenage boy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Came home to chaos - roofers all over the front of the roof, one big truck in the driveway and a second in front of the house, a ladder blocking the front door, tarps over much of the front yard to catch the worst of the debris, and banging & knocking I could hear a block from home. They apparently found a lot of structural wood rot in the section that had been leaking - no surprise there - and had to replace 2 or 3 4'x8' sheets of 3/4" plywood. Fortunately, it's a sunny day, if a bit chilly, so they should be able to make good progress.

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!