Monday, December 24, 2007
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night (now go to bed so Santa will come!).
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
So... you may not hear from me for awhile... but then again most of you who read this blog will be seeing me soon! And if I don't have the great fortune of seeing you soon, please have a happy, healthy, safe and meaningful holiday with those closest to you.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Anyway, just wanted to update my blog with the oh-so-exciting news of my cold. I think I'll go blow my nose now.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I won't post all of them because frankly it just takes too darn long to post each picture. But I think you'll see most of them this way and for those who want more let me know and the next time I see you, I'll show you the rest! I'm putting them in chronological order of the show, not that any of you probably care about that!
"Look! I even have pretty shoes!"
The carriage to carry her away to the ball... this scene ended act 1
Trying on the glass slipper! This is the family's day dresses.
And the final kiss (note the rag dresses for the stepfamily... all evil must be punished and then forgiven as Cinderella forgives the stepfamily and lets them live at the palace... cheesy! :)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
My sister and brother-in-law came to visit this weekend and goodness did we pack it in! On Friday evening we went to the Brew Pub in town for dinner and then headed out to Walmart to buy Reid snow equipment for the next today's activities. On Saturday we all four drove out to the Great Sand Dunes (in two cars... Sarah and I didnt stay nearly as long as the boys did). The plan had been for the guys to go sandboarding. What they hadn't planned on was the six inches or so of snow that fell Saturday morning. So, they were half snowboarding and half sandboarding. Dan was very impressed by the Dunes, having never been to them before.
Tater, Sarah and I stayed in the car until we thought they had climbed up far enough. Then we went out on to the flat land between the parking lot and the Dunes. We took some pictures and Tater had a terrific time running through the snow!
Then Sarah, the dog and I came home and took naps. According to pictures on Sarah and Dan's camera, the boys built a snowman on the Dunes and named him Frosty. That evening we all attended Cinderella and I think they enjoyed it (Cinderella pictures in an upcoming post I promise!).
(It's a little like Where's Waldo? Can you find them on the side of the Dune?)
On Sunday the boys were up and gone by 7am, headed for Wolf Creek and their 70+ inches of snow. Reid, when they came back, described it as "epic." So apparently, they had fun. Sarah and I hung close to home (being six months pregnant, as my sister is, isn't very conducive to snowboarding). We spent the morning at the cat shelter (where the cats used Sarah as a climbing post as well as a petting machine!). In the afternoon we went for a drive to look at houses that are for sale. It certainly got me motivated. We have a meeting with a bank rep. tomorrow to discuss mortgages and a meeting with a realtor on Thursday!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
This picture came out the worst but I put it at the top because it is truly one of my favorites. I have two of them (this wedding one and one of my best friend and I growing up). My mom (bless her patient soul) made them. The pictures are actually on the inside of the glass and this one is stuffed with some of the bows off of presents from our wedding. Needless to say, these two glass balls mean a lot to me.
This is an ornament given to me by my maternal grandfather. You may or may not be able to read it but he etched "Jenna Marie 1979" onto it. Yep... the ornament is as old as I am.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
And in other news... I have started posting the cats at the San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society on Petfinder.com! Go check out our kitties (even though I know most of you are far away and have no desire to adopt one) and tell me which is your favorite... I like all of them (though I'll admit that a few have really stolen my heart!).
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
What that does mean is that all of the costumes needed to be DONE by today... and they are! I am back at school to watch one more run through and take notes on anything else that needs to be tidied, fixed, changed, etc. Then I will leave that list with my work study students and I will be done (until they break something have way through the show and then it's back to square one).
Highlights from last nights run include:
-One of the evil stepsister's wigs coming off and him gripping his head and yelling "I'm so ugly" in a very funny falsetto
-A short time letter when the Cinderella double "transformed" from rags to ballgown, only to pull off her wig with her mop cap! The look on her face was priceless!
-Paul (the director)'s reaction when the evil stepfamily came on stage in their rag dresses, which he didn't know I had made! He loved them and turned saying, "I didn't know we had those!" I told him that we had made them that day and he was amazed! Big beaming from me...
-The overall beauty of the show with lights, sets and now costumes
I promise I will post pictures. I have asked the young lady who takes the archive photos for a list of photos of the costumes I made (as well as the other archive photos for the overall look of costumes, built or rented). When I got those, I'll post some of them. Until then, imagine a 6'2" man in leopard print platform shoes, blue and yellow dress with a white and animal print stand up collar (ala Elizabeth) and a foot and a half tall wig... Fabulous!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Today I am thankful that school will be done in two weeks from today (for me)! Classes are over December 7. My only day of finals in Tuesday, Dec. 11. Can you believe December starts on Saturday? Crazy... I didn't think it was possible but school actually moves faster as a professor!
Tonight is our first dress rehearsal. So I probably will not be posting again this evening... Wish me luck!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I am also thankful for Amazing Race! What can I say? It's a guilty pleasure... and it comes on in twenty-five minutes! Hooray!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
My kitty girls often get overlooked when it comes to my pets. I think that happens mainly because I take Tater with me so many places that everyone knows him (it is much harder to type when Clementine is trying to lick my fingers and lay her chin between my typing hands!). But I really value the love and sweetness that my cats give me. Isabel is always there to get a scritch when I sit down on the toilet (and don't try to closer her out of the bathroom unless you want to spend your entire time in there listening her to scratch at the bottom of the door!). She loves giving ankle rubs in the morning. I love watching her excitement when she sits in the window and chitters at the birds that fly by.
Clementine has always been Reid's cat. When she has the choice she will go to him every time. That being said, I am still frequently graced with her presence. I love that she will sit on my lap while I'm watching tv or curl up with me on the sofa with a good book. I love the little meow noise that she makes, that isn't really a meow. I love that she doesn't mind wearing her collar and in fact seems to wear it with a bit of pride. And I love that she is here with us, since there was a time earlier this year when she was losing weight and refusing to eat and we thought we might lose her. But whatever it was, she pulled through. And is the same cuddler she has always been.
Working in the cat shelter really brings home how many cats are out there that need someone to hold them and cuddle them, talk to them and pet them. Cats are not the obedient clingers that dogs are... but they are warm and wonderful in their own way. And I am thankful for the two who live in my house (as well as anyone who adopts an adult cat from a shelter... there are so many of them!).
Friday, November 23, 2007
As if the natural world can read blogs or hear Matt Lauer say that Thanksgiving is the prelude to Christmas, I rolled over and cursed myself for talking so much yesterday about how I love all the sunshine here because it was white outside (usually meaning it is cloudy). Then I sat up and realized that no, that white wasn't clouds... it was snow! And lots of it! On the fence posts there is easily four inches.
In fact, there is a step up into our house and I had to push the door open through the snow. Tater's first step out into it was pretty funny. Then he bounced through it with a great deal of joy.
And it tells you something about where we live that our street (2nd Street) was not yet plowed... but the path in the park was!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thanksgiving is in many ways the "kicking off" of the Christmas season. But I think that it deserves to stand on its own right. How glorious to have a holiday where the point is to commune with other people in thankfulness for the bounty that earth has provided us. There are no presents, no gimmicks and nothing to buy. There is only good food and good company. And though I long to spend that time with my family, I am very appreciative tonight of the family that welcomed Reid and I into their home. One more sign (as if I needed anymore) that Alamosa is a good place and that we are surrounded by good people here. I hope that your Thanksgiving was a time of love, good food, and reflection upon the blessings that have been bestowed on each of us. Happy Gobble-Day!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
So, this evening I am thankful for health insurance. Sometimes it's a pain (like this evening when I called in my prescription for birth control 'cause I knew I would have time today to pick it up... only to get to the pharmacy and have them tell me that the insurance company won't pay for it until November 27th... So, I'll go back on the 27th I guess).
But I am thankful for both understanding how necessary health insurance is and the safety net that it provides Reid and I. As we were prepping the cheesy potatoes that we are taking tomorrow to Thanksgiving dinner Reid cut his thumb. He cut it pretty badly I thought (through part of the nail) and there was a moment before we washed it throughly where I thought we might be taking a trip to the emergency room for stitches. And though the ER is the last place I want to be (just about) on Thanksgiving eve, the cost was gloriously one thing that did not cross my mind... I just wanted Reid's thumb to be better.
I know that there are all sorts of views out there about universal health care and I don't begin to pretend that I understand them. But I can't imagine being a spouse or someday a parent and not having that confidence going to bed every night knowing that if something were to happen to the ones I love there would be medical treatment without financial ruin... This lack of health care is a huge problem... and I don't know how we fix it. I am thankful that I have health insurance and I pray that those who are smarter than I am and are more inclined to find a solution do. Because everyone deserves to know that the ER is there for them when they cut their finger... without worrying that they then won't be able to pay the rent.
So, this morning I am thankful for Tater, our beagle. This morning Reid took him out and fed him breakfast for me since it was my first day off. Then Tater came back to bed with me and slept until it was time for mommy to get up (9am, not too bad). We went for a walk in the park where he was cautious but forward moving both times we crossed the bridge (which is a huge bridge... but he has always done this thing when we cross a bridge where he spreads out his toes really wide and then crouches really low to the ground as he sort of marine-style crawls... very funny).
We got back and he has been desperate for my attention (and for me to leave the computer) since! When I wouldn't give him my attention, he started playing with his toys which is usually a good sign. However, I looked out the door a few minutes after I started and found this:
I thought that distraction might be the best course of action. So I gave him a kong (or as we call them at our house passies, since it takes the place of a pacifier). He always loves those. His reaction to my taking his picture while he was eating it:
Monday, November 19, 2007
I was next reminded of how much I love our warm home when I saw the unfortunate news on the local news that two families near Denver have just lost their homes (last night actually, to a fire that they all barely escaped from). They are thankful that no one in their families were killed (though one man is still in the ICU). But what a difficult road for all of them that they now have to begin the process of building their lives over.
And one more reminder... the cold is coming to the Valley! Snow is coming to Colorado but we shouldn't be getting too much of that (according to weather.com). But Saturday's high is supposed to be 37, with a low of 4! I am so thankful for our nice cocoon of warmth in our home, our clothes and our jobs!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Anyway, one of the things I look forward to every fall is the myriad of cold weather drink options available to me. In fact, I think I'll go enjoy some now!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
So... for Day 6 I am thankful for Christmas lights and Christmas decorations. Last night was the official "lighting" of Alamosa. All of the street lights have lit ornaments on them. They light up the train engine that is in the park and the courthouse. Last night Santa came to Alamosa, in the same courtyard where the farmer's market is in the summer. Tater went with us. A little boy asked if he could pet and I said of course you can. Tater's tail started wagging really hard. The little boy turned to his mother and said "look! His tail is shaking back and forth." And his mother replied, "Yes, he's happy because he saw Santa," and the little boy nodded in agreement... I nodded my head in agreement though I'm pretty sure Tater was happy about the petting and the possibility of food being dropped on his head!
I love driving past the lights... you just can't be too angry when you see Christmas trees and lit lamp-posts... somehow in Christmas lights problems melt away.
For Day 7, I am thankful for my husband and one of my work study student's help!! I was stressed going into the costume shop today. But I got the last costume cut out (Cinderella's double's rag dress) and then Reid and Tater showed up. I have trained him well in the art of sewing, if I do say so myself! He put a waistband on to a skirt, made a bum roll and encased two arm holes with bias tape for me.
But the biggest surprise of the day was when Jessica opened the door and said, "Hi. I'm here to help. I was just sitting at home and I thought I'd be more productive here than at home watching tv." You bet!! She sewed together an entire bodice for the evil stepmother's ballgown. And with all that help it allowed me to get the first steps done on the rag dress (I need more bias tape to finish it tomorrow), sew trim onto one Cinderella skirt, sew velcro on to a Cinderella bodice and begin to put the skirt on to the Evil Stepmother ballgown. I know most of you don't care about the costumes in such step by step detail... but it helps me to write it out and for you to see just how much I need these people's help! How much further behind would I be if it weren't for them?? So, I am thankful for help (especially since Jessica gave me her telephone number and said to call her tomorrow while I'm there and she'll come over and do some more work)!
And now... I'm going to go eat some dinner and watch a movie with my husband!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Today I am thankful for rest. I haven't gotten a whole lot lately and I would like nothing more this evening than to cuddle under the covers with a good book and go to sleep early. But I am going to see the first full run-through of Cinderella so that I have some idea of what is happening in the scenes and how long people have to change.
I am thankful that when the time comes, and Cinderella has finally been finished and the semester is done there will be time to rest and recooperate. Hooray!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Today, I am thankful for the job that I do. Despite it being incredibly stressful at moments (I really felt like crying several times today... it was just one of THOSE days) I really love it. And it was all brought home when I received an e-mail around lunch time today that actually did make me cry. But first, let me set it up for you.
You see, I have a student who is in two of my classes. She is somewhat soft-spoken and you can tell a little shy. She was home-schooled, graduated at 16 and has spent the last two years living at home and going to community college. She transferred in to Adams this fall. About two weeks ago she asked if she could come work for me in the costume shop. She told me that she could sew a bit and so I, of course, jumped at the offer of another set of hands. Well... this student has been a GREAT help. She can sew well and she is in almost every day... she has even come in the last two Saturdays to help.
Then today, I got an e-mail from her mother. As I am opening it, of course I am thinking "Oh no... what does this mother want? Doesn't she know I can't share information about her daughter?" But no... she instead wrote a very sweet note to me, saying how when you let your children go you hope that there are people out there to take them under their wings and thanking me for giving her daughter the opportunity to blossom in the shop. She said she has never heard her daughter so excited about anything before! Wow... if that didn't blow me away. I am so thankful for her taking a moment to send an e-mail telling me that I am indeed on the right path and in the right place. Thank you to this student's mom!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I love the snow and how it makes everything look clean and a little magical. I LOVE CHRISTMAS, all of the decorating and the baking and the knowledge that families come together to give one another presents but more importantly their time. I love things with snowflakes on them (I own two sweaters with snowflakes and am seriously considering putting one on the side of the dog coat I'm making Tater... Reid is against it). I love coming inside when it is really cold outside and having something warm to drink. And I love our flannel sheets.
I love when the buds begin to push through the ground. I love little girls in ruffly pastel dresses at Easter (especially when they would rather be playing in the grass rather than standing and looking pretty). I love that my birthday comes in April! I love that my new neice is due in March. I love Spring Break and the anticipation of shool being out for the summer.
I love those (all too few) lazy days of summer, where you can sit around in shorts and a tank top drinking a cold drink and reading a cheesy romance novel. I love the feel of slipping in to a cool pool when it's hot outside. I love summer barbecues and picnics. I love taking my dog for long walks and sitting in a shady spot with him while watching people play in the park. I love anticipating going back to school in the fall.
I am so grateful for the ever changing, ever forward progressing seasons.
Monday, November 12, 2007
As I was driving home from work today (all of a five minute commute, something else I am thankful for!) I heard a story on NPR about Somalia. I don't know how much you know about what is going on over there, but from what I have gathered it is bad. The Somalian government, along with the help of the Ethiopian Army, are fighting a group called the Union of Islamic Courts, who used to completely control the capital Mogadishu and who are now hulled up in certain spots. A few days ago they captured, killed and drug through the streets an Ethiopian soldier (Black Hawk Down all over again). 130,000 people have fled their homes in the capital in the last week... 130,000! And they are heading to the country to stay with family and other clansmen who are already undernourished and overstretched. As I listened to the story my heart went out to those poor displaced people. You know that most of them are honest, hardworking people. They are parents, grandparents, and children who have been driven out of their homes by something that has nothing to do with them. And they now have no idea when or if they will be able to go home and how they are going to provide for their families until they can.
How lucky am I to be living in a land where I know that I am safe when I go to bed at night and when I awake in the morning? To live in a country where I do not have to fear speaking my mind or criticizing my own government? I am so thankful to live in this country, which was fought for and defended by so many miraculous men and women throughout history.
Sorry for my soap-box... I promise tomorrow's thankfulness will be less preachy.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Boogie Mom has challenged her readers to the following:
"Why not take a few minutes everyday in the month of November and post a short blurb on something that you are thankful for? Let’s make Thanksgiving not just a one day celebration, but a whole month!”
Of course, I didn't find it until this morning when I was poking around on one someone else's blog. But I figured nineteen days is better than nothing (and I have one post a few days ago that started on this theme!).
Day 1 (or day 11, depending on how you look at it): The Twist and Turns that Brought Us to Colorado
There have been many times along this road when I have been frustrated with how long it has taken. I have cried tears of frustration in the past for how slow things seemed to be moving (Reid has heard them, my family has heard them, my college room-mates heard them). But let's reflect on the things (and people) I would have missed if my path had been more smooth and straight.
1. Julie- I have never connected and had so much in common with another woman in my life. She and I can and did talk for HOURS without stopping... and then came back together and did it again the next day.
2. Adams State- If I had finished a year or two earlier, this job would not have been open. And I am loving my job.
3. Juvenile Probation- As much pain as working as a juvenile probation officer brought me, I am thankful for that experience because it gave me a great perspective on the world and how much I really do have to be thankful for.
4. Tater- If we hadn't been in Virginia (and friends with Mike and Julie when they got a dog) I might still be living in the belief that I "don't live a dog lifestyle." Instead, we have Tater who is one of the greatest joys in my life.
Okay... think that's enough for today! What are you thankful for?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
And now for Cinderella (and yes Sarah you will have read this twice because I copied and pasted from the e-mail I sent you this morning!)...
The costumes are finally starting to come together. Don't get me wrong. There is still a lot to do (evil Stepmom currently has one dress cut out, and nothing sewn together!). But there is definite progress. Both of the evil step sister's day dresses are sewn completely (except for their full action sleeves... I figured I would tackle all the sleeves together once I have the dresses done (once I get on a role with them and figure out how best to do it I can't imagine that will take very long). Cinderella's rags are done (the breakway rags haven't been started yet) and the fairy godmother's dancing outfit and cape are done (except for her shawl which should take very little time). Both of the Cinderella ballgown bodices are done except for putting in zippers (and one needs a little more trim added). The ballgown skirts are cut out and sewn into huge tubes so we should be able to get those mostly finished this weekend (I have two students volunteering to come in to work today... isn't that sweet?). So, there is definite progress being made. It's just slow and steady!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
So... these are the "rules":
Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you (check!). Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged (I don't think I know eight other bloggers... but I'll tag as many as I know!).
1. I have scratches all over the back of my neck... cat scratches, from my Sunday morning romps with the kitties at the local shelter. One of the kittens thinks she is a parrot (likes to sit on your shoulder and holds on with her claws! Very endearing...)
2. I am in the midst of the largest costuming project I have ever undertaken. I'm sure it will all get done. I just hope I'm not sleeping there in a week.
3. I was born before, graduated before and got married before my best friend but did not manage to have babies before her! (though I had fur children first!)
4. There are very few things that I hate in this world... but slasher/killer/torture movies fit into that category. I honestly don't understand how that is entertainment.
5. I love many things... including my red flannel sheets, my dog Tater and my kitty cats Isabel and Clementine.
6. I have worked as a historic interpreter, a juvenile probation officer, a human resources specialist, an adjunct college instructor, a dog bather and finally a theatre professor (I think I'll stay awhile if they let me)!
7. I turn in a retention binder January 15 and will then have a committee of people determine if I get to keep my job for another year (which I won't find out until March 15)! This will happen every year for the next five years, until I go up for tenure.
8. When I was little, I endowed everything with human emotion (our cars, my stuffed animals, everything)... I now worry about children who have that leaning AND have movies like Cars, and The Bee Movie to further their beliefs in anthropomorphism.
And now I will tag Jamie (Sarah did it too... now you have to!), Amy, Alaina, Rebecca, Angela, and Becky (that's all I've got... I guess I need more blogging friends!).
Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered! What a fun time this give-away has been. I will certainly be involved next time!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I am so thankful for my families (the one I was born into and the one I married into). Though Reid and I are far away from them, I am constantly aware of how much they love us and how often they think about us. I know that I am lucky to have parents who still love one another and the same goes for my in-laws. I'm lucky to have a grandfather who is still in good health and proud of my accomplishments.
I am thankful for my job. Though at times it is frustrating and overwhelming, all in all I think I am in the perfect place for me and can see myself staying here for a long time. We went to the one-acts last night (Grand Guignol, turn of the century French horror theatre) and saw students who were excited to be there and working their butts off to entertain us. What a great job I have!
I am thankful for my warm home, my constant income and my loving pets (Tater is lying in his laundry basket right next to me as I write this... can't be too far away from Mommy on her day off!).
And of course, most of all I am thankful for my husband who will probably never read this post. I was just reading a portion of Rebecca's blog whose army husband is deployed for another 273 days and my heart just goes out to her and the other men, women and children who are separated from their loved ones for such prolonged periods. It made me feel thankful and blessed that my husband is here with me, leaving seconds on the microwave rather than clearing it for the time to be seen again (which drives me crazy but which I would miss desperately if he was not here to do it!). So, thank you to Rebecca for reminding me of the blessings I have in my life!
Monday, October 29, 2007
FIRST OFF: PLEASE ENTER YOUR E-MAIL IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOG LINK... otherwise I'll have no way of contacting you!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
And in honor of my future niece, I thought I would post pictures of my babies that I took today. I actually took all three of the pictures below at exactly the same time of day.
It was obviously nap time.
Tater was sacked out on the sofa... no spoiled pets here!
Friday, October 26, 2007
This week started out slow but moved into a very productive slant towards the end. We have Cinderella's under-rag dress done and her over-rag dress is more than halfway done. The lining of the Fairy Godmother cape has been sewn together. The fairy godmother dance costume has been cut out. All of the bodices for the evil step-family have been mocked up, fitted and re-mocked up (they should be in again on Monday for a final fitting before we cut real fabric).
All of the wigs have been ordered. Some of the shoes have been ordered. The rental forms have been filled out but not yet sent in (I tried today and the fax machine doesn't like me... I'll try again Monday morning on a new fax machine). Replacement parts have been ordered for one of our sewing machines so that hopefully we'll be up and running by the middle of next week on all three of our machines (though the little one doesn't like to switch back and forth between zigzag and straight stitching... so sometimes it just doesn't!).
All in all I feel good where we are. By the end of next week I would like to have Fairy Godmother completely finished, the bodices fitted, and both of the Cinderella ballgowns well on their way to completion. I would also like to have at least a few of the evil stepfamilies' dresses cut out (if not beginning to sew on them). Ambitious, but I think it's doable. I am really proud of most of my work-study ladies. For not having sewing skills when they started they have really stepped up to the plate and are working at learning. Wish us all luck!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
On Friday we had two other faculty and spouse couples over for dinner and some game playing, which was a lot of fun. I don't have huge amounts in common with any of them but I think they'll all be good to hang out with (movies, drinks, etc). In preparation for people visiting, I decorated the little shelves in our entry way for fall. I was rather proud of how it turned out (considering I did it in about ten minutes and wasn't able to find any decorating wire, string, etc). Here is a picture:
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I find myself still seeking the permission of those around me. I have not been able to accept, thus far, that I am a colleague, a peer, of those around me. I keep expecting to have to justify my actions and my choices and am constantly surprised when no one asks for my "excuses."
I'm sure over time it will go away, as I myself become more confident in the decisions I am making. I don't know that there is any way that they can teach this change in perspectives while still in school... but I sure wish they had!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
This is Sarah and Mom at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (the bridge is behind me as I take this picture). These are the mountains around Taos.
This weekend has been full of fun. On Friday I came home from work, packed and we headed to Taos where we spent the night. Then on Saturday morning we got up and went to the Taos Sheep and Wool Festival. I was very controlled and only bought two skeins of yarn to make a shawl... Sarah and Mom spent a bit more but they bought some really pretty stuff!
And today we are still lounging about today. We have talked about getting dressed and going out to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We'll see if that happens.
On Wednesday mom and I will drive Sarah to the airport in Denver and go shopping for fabric... that's all the farther that we've planned. I'll try and update at least once this week, but know that even if I don't, I'm thinking about all of you (my six blog readers!).
Sunday, September 30, 2007
(Small but mighty!)
(Tater actually sat on Clementine and then laid down next to her for this shot)
Friday, September 28, 2007
And in other news I got my first paycheck today!!! Hooray!!! I am actually getting paid and this isn't all just a labor of love. Now that I have that, Reid and I can sit down, plan out our budget and start saving. We can also go meet with some of the local banks (probably after the family visits) to qualify for a mortgage so that we can start looking at houses in earnest. That way when more than three people come to visit we'll have some place to put everyone!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
In other news I saw our first student productions last night (they opened last night to a packed house and play through Saturday). I'm going back Saturday to watch with a more critical eye because I have been tasked with writing the critical reviews that the directors receive from a faculty reviewer (yey for being one of three faculty members!). It will be hard to criticize them because frankly they made me quite proud to work here. As my co-worker said today when we were talking about them, "Talent is universal" (meaning you can find talent kids in small towns just as you can find them in big cities).
Sunday, September 23, 2007
SPINACH BREAD AND BUTTER CASSEROLE (from Vegetarian and Vegetable Cooking, serves 4 to 6)
(I know that it doesn't sound great, but trust me! It's good)
1 lb spinach (either fresh leaf, in which case you need to blanch it for just two minutes or frozen... in both cases you want to squeeze out the excess water before you begin)
1 ciabatta loaf (or any firm baked bread, we use the local farmer's bread)
4 Tbs. softened butter, margarine or olive oil (I generally use Smart Balance spread)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced (fresh or canned)
2 Tbs. Olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seed
salt and pepper
4 ounces Gruyere Cheese, grated (you can substitute swiss- we have b/c it's cheaper... but the Gruyere is really good!)
2 1/4 cup milk
grated fresh nutmeg
1. After blanching (or defrosting) your spinach, squeeze out excess water and chop roughly.
2. Spread the butter over the bread slices thinly. Grease a large shallow ovenproof dish and line the bottom and sides with bread.
3. Fry the onion and mushrooms lightly in the oil for five minutes, then add the cumin seeds and spinach. Season well.
4. Layer the spinach mixture with the remaining bread and half the cheese. For the top, mix everything together and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
5. Beat the eggs with the milk, adding seasoning and nutmeg to taste. Pour slowly over the whole dish and set aside for at least an hour to let the custard be absorbed into the bread. (I always let it set in the fridge)
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the dish (we've actually covered it and not, as well as followed the directions and put it in a roasting pan with boiling water around it... it's good any way) and bake for 40-45 minutes, until risen, golden brown and crispy on top.
Irish Colcannon (also from Vegetarian and Vegetable Cooking, serves 4)
2 lbs. potatoes, cut into even pieces
8 ounces curly kale or crisp green cabbage, shredded (we've always used kale)
2 scallions, chopped
butter or margarine, to taste
fresh nutmeg, grated
salt and pepper
4 large eggs
3 ounces aged cheese, grated (we've used the above Gruyere, as well as grated parmesan and romano)
1. Boil the potatoes until just tender, then drain and mash well.
2. Lightly cook the kale or cabbage until just tender but still crisp. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Drain the greens and mix them into the potatoes with the onions, butter and nutmeg. Season to taste.
4. Spoon the mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish and make four hollows in the mixture. Crack an egg into each and season well.
5. Bake for about 12 minutes (we've always had to let ours go for longer than that) or until the eggs are just set, then serve sprinkled with the cheese.
Russian Bean-and-Potato Soup (from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook)
(This is one that is excellent on cold fall days, if you like sauerkraut. It is great with a hearty bread. It serves 4 and only had 182 calories per serving!)
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 russet potatoes, cubed
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 cups veggie stock
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour (though bleached will do in a pinch)
1/3 cup lowfat sour cream
3/4cup sauerkraut (with juice- we usually drain off some of it, because it' just too bitter for me)
1 tbs. dried dill weed
salt and white pepper to taste (though black pepper will do)
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil and saute the onion until limp, about five minutes. Add the potatoes and green beans, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the stock as needed to keep the potatoes from scorching; then add the remaining stock. Lower heat, cover and cook for 1 hour on your stovetop or three hours in a slow cooker.
2. Combine the flour and sour cream in a small bowl. Add to the hot stew by spoonfuls, stirring to blend. Add the sauerkraut and dill. Let cook 15 more minutes on stovetop or 30 minutes in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper (and an extra dollop of sour cream if you want!).
These are the three I thought of first. I'm sure that I have more... perhaps next time!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tomorrow Reid and I are attending a "New Faculty Fall Social" at the provost's house... sounds awfully hoighty-toighty, doesn't it? Ah well... such is the life of a professor :0)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
This past weekend I spent almost the whole weekend planning for classes. Reid went on a hike on Saturday and had a really good time (they went twelve miles... Tater would have never made it!). Then we went over to Jared and Renee's house for dinner and a movie, which was nice. They are nice people and having adult conversation, not about classes, is appreciated.
The weather here is really beautiful though the nights are definitely getting chilly. On Monday we had bizarre weather where all day it fluctuated between gray, rain, and blue with sun. There was even a brief hale storm in the middle of the day! But today it's back to the beautiful blue sky that makes me thankful to live here. No seasonal affective disorder here!
Otherwise our lives are plugging along. I am still worried about the number of costumes we have to find/make for Cinderella (especially now that I know our budget and have met with our choreographer... the number may have climbed to 66!). But there isn't a whole lot I can do about it until it gets cast, which is not until Sept. 30. And so I wait (and attempt to plan, though mainly in vain).
My classes are going well. We've made the transition in Intermediate Acting from Bogart Viewpoints work to play/character analysis. I don't know that the students are all that happy about it, but so be it :) You have to do some written work sometimes, even in acting. In voice we are covering resonators (don't worry, I had to explain to Reid what they are too). And in speech I just gave back the team speech grades (I overheard "It's a C. I don't do C. I got a 4.0 in high school" to which I responded to the class at large "If you don't like your grades, come and talk to me. And let's work harder on our informative speeches"... I don't think they're very fond of me right now. Ah well...)
Reid thinks his job is going to be fine (boring but fine). And that's about it. Our lives in a nutshell.... now do you feel more informed? :)
Friday, September 14, 2007
This weekend's plans are still a little up in the air. Renee and Jared have invited us on another hike tomorrow but I'm not sure I should go, since I would really like to get ahead on my class planning (and that involves a lot of reading)... and I only have 250 pages left in the last Harry Potter... no one tell me! I need to find out what happens! :)
Otherwise, our lives are gliding along pretty well. Today I had lunch with my faculty mentor. He is a 20 year professor here at Adams, in the computer science department. They pair new faculty with seasoned faculty in a cross discipline manner so that we can get our questions answered, while not fearing that this person will ever hold any power over our positions (he will never be on my retention committee or my tenure committee). He is a nice guy and it certainly can't hurt me to branch out and meet faculty in other departments, and get a non-theatre perspective on Adams.
Reid seems to like his job so far. It is a lot of accounting (which I think scares him a little but he'll be fine!). He actually handed a check this week that was for $123,000! If nothing else, the job will keep him on his toes and intellectually stimulated. It may also help our financial planning. Since he has started he has renewed his interest in his copy of "Personal Finances for Dummies" and our joint copy of "Smart Couples Finish Rich," which he wants us to read together. I told him I have to finish Harry first!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Today we plan to just hang out. I'm going to go into work for a little while because I have to get some planning done. And then tomorrow... Reid starts his new job! He is now the new Alamosa County Treasurer Clerk. Yey!! Dual income!! The job is just about exactly what he wanted. It's an office job (so no freezing his butt in the winter time). It has regular hours (8-4:30 M-F) and as it is a government job it has good benefits (sick leave, vacation time, etc). He'll be the only man in the office too! This was the first job he applied for when we got here and first he interviewed for... So I am proud of him that it was also offered to him. Yey Reid!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
There was some sad news on Sunday though. As we were climbing into the car Reid dropped our camera from the doorway to the pavement (in its case) and something inside broke. It still turns on but there is a huge crack visible through the view finder and no matter what you turn it to the picture is white... So, there will be a drop off on pictures on the blog until we can either get it fixed or buy a replacement. We can take pictures with the primitive film technology still, but there is a much greater lag time for posting.
Monday was a nice quiet day. I worked in the office some and then read Harry Potter (I'm halfway through book six! I know, way behind the times...). And now I must plan for class tomorrow.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
The entire hike was about seven miles (three and a half in and the same back out). Seven miles doesn't seem so long, except that we also climbed almost twelve hundred feet, which meant that parts of the hike was switchbacks that were pretty steep. Luckily these were at the very beginning but it did leave me a little panicky thinking "what if this is what the whole hike is like... I can't do this!").
(Renee, Tater and I on the way back down the path)
There were several beautiful meadows along the climb and two beautiful lakes (we ate lunch sitting and looking over the second). Unfortunately when we got to the top lake it began to lightly sprinkle and we then heard thunder. The top of a big hill (or anywhere on a mountain) is not where you want to be when there is a thunderstorm (as we passed many trees along the way that were obviously scorched with lightning). Tater was also not pleased with the thunder. So we headed back down the trail at what would have been a quick pace if Tater wasn't tuckered. There was even a small stretch where I had to pick him up and carry him because he just didn't want to walk any more. I think we may have to work him up to long hikes like that (and me too, as my legs are pretty sore today!).
We didn't see much wild life (probably because there were four of us, all talking, and a dog). However we did see some chipmunks and the work of lots of animals (see below). The most amazing part to me was that on the entire hike we only came in contact with one other group of hikers (three women and their two dogs). And this is Labor Day weekend on a trail that is advertised in published books. It just shows how remote the landscape that we are living in is!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I am really enjoying teaching my acting class. So far it's my favorite. My voice class is alright, but I think it's only a matter of time before my students realize that I'm a fraud and that I have consistently been told by directors and teachers that my voice is my weakest component... ah well. And public speaking is public speaking.... I'm not super jazzed about it but I have some interesting students in the class.
In other news, I added it up today and I have at the very minimum 35 costumes to obtain for Cinderella, the first mainstage show of the season. After meeting with the director yesterday I convinced him that we need to move the auditions up so that I can have more time. 35 costumes!!! And that isn't including however many extras he decides to have. I'm sure that we will be able to pull some of them from storage and we'll rent some of the others, but I would like to build at least ten of them. Wish me (and the girls who work for me in the costume shop) luck!! Of course, nothing can be really started until we have a finalized budget (Paul is trying to find me more money) and a cast... until then I will just work on my pathetic renderings and worry! :)
Reid and I are planning on going to the mountains for a hike on Saturday with a married couple who are also new faculty members this year at Adams (Jared is a new earth science prof and Renee is chemistry). It will be nice to be out with people our age and good to go exploring while it's still warm. I will certainly post pictures if we get some good ones!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
(This is the stream... the temperature drops ten to fifteen degrees near the stream!)
Then you have to wade through the stream into what appears to be a small crack in the rock face.
You turn the corner once you're in the canyon (which is only about ten feet across) and the noise is amazing, the force of the water barrling down the rock behind really intense. It was so beautiful and unfortunately, with the amount of water spray in the air, our little camera didn't do it justice. I think it is one of those things that has to be seen (and the cold mountain water felt) to truly appreciate.