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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to all...

Reid and I made it to Indiana safe and sound... And have enjoyed spending time with both of our families. I wish all who read this blog (and all who don't!) a joyous and peaceful Christmas day... How fitting and lovely that this is my 100th blog post!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night (now go to bed so Santa will come!).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And we're off...

As my parents say, like a herd of galloping turtles... We are going to take it as easy as possible on the drive back to Indiana, in large part because of my cold which has moved into my larynx and will not leave (I sound like a woman who has been smoking for fifty years and badly at that). So we are about to leave here (the car is loaded and Reid is taking Tater for a walk) and we are driving over the pass and probably stopping in Liman, CO for the night (just past Colorado Springs... it'll only be a couple of hours in the car today but it means we don't have to face the mountains first thing in the morning!). Then tomorrow we'll drive from Liman to Olathe, KS and spend the night with friends there... then on Friday we'll drive from Olathe to Indy. Each of those days should be about eight or so hours of driving, which isn't too bad at all.

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

This always happens...

The semester is finally done. I've turned in all my grades. I've attended my first graduation. And I have not yet felt the drive to start work for next semester. And I'm sick. My body is great at defending itself against getting sick while I'm stressed (which is very lucky for me!). But as soon as the stress goes away so does my immune system apparently. So I'm sitting here still in my pajamas at ten in the morning, sipping tea because I have no voice and contemplating the HUGE list of things I need to do before we leave Alamosa for our Christmas trip to Indiana on Wednesday afternoon/Thursday morning (we haven't decided when to leave yet... though with this cold I'm leaning towards Wednesday afternoon so that the Thursday drive will be shorter and less stressful... but that's going to make Wednesday morning stressful, so who knows!)...

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

Cinderella!! (screamed by three full grown men in their Falsetto Voices!)

Now that the show has closed, the costumes that were rented have been sent back and my shop looks empty and clean again, I present to you some of the pictures from Cinderella. All of these were taken by one of our students, Stacey... thanks Stacey! Please remember that these photos are property of Adams State College and any duplication is prohibited! :)

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!

Cinderella meets the Fairy Godmother for the first time.

One of my favorite photos... the stepfamily and Cinderella listen for the carriages approaching to take them to the ball!

"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

Our Weekend

I should be at school right now finishing up the first of three exams for the day... but I got a call this morning that school was cancelled until noon and the final postponed. So... I thought I'd blog for a minute!

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.
(the boys getting ready to hit the slopes... crazies!)

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!

(Tater is ready to run! Let him at that snow! And Sarah is just staying warm)

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

My favorite Christmas Ornaments

Oh!Amanda posted on her blog about her favorite Christmas ornaments and that got me to thinking about mine... but the truth is there are very few ornaments on my tree that don't have very special meaning to me. Because my husband and I are still using a four foot tree I have to be pretty selective with what I put on (though Reid is always saying that the tree is going to fall over because I am a firm believes that every branch deserves an ornament)! But I decided to take a picture of a few of my favorites and tell you abou them (though some of the pictures didn't come out so well... not really sure why).

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.

This ornament is rather new to my collection. My mother-in-law gave it to me. It's a real eggshell, that she painted! Can you see artistic ability?? I'm hoping those genes get past on to my future children.

Who doesn't love a spoiled rotten beagle on a Christmas tree??

This is an ornament given to me by my maternal grandmother before I can remember. My sister has one as well, but in different colors. I could not get this picture to come out... but I like the ghosting effect. It makes it look like he's dancing!

This is another that my grandmother gave me. Again, my sister has a matching mouse in a different color. Even though one of his eyes is missing and he's a little shaggy around the ears he goes on my Christmas tree every year. I love the reminders of my grandmother.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Two unrelated things

Yesterday it rained on the floor of the Valley, which doesn't happen all that often. We are happy here when it rains because it means moisture... and moisture in a desert is always a good thing. And when snow falls down here, it means snow up in the mountains. Blanca is so beautiful today that Reid and I drove just out of town (about five minutes away) and took a picture of her to show everyone.

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

I'm famous!!!

Okay, not quite... but there was an article on me in the Adams State College newspaper. Check it out here (for some reason you have to scroll down quite a bit). A lovely picture of a double chin (and another sneak preview of the evil stepsister's dresses)!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sneak Preview...

Evil Stepmother, Dress 1! Not the best picture but I think you get the picture! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Almost time for Relief!

I'm going to have to post some thankfulness posts in December to make up for the ones I've missed this week... but that's okay. The show is almost ready to open! Opening night is Friday. However, I leave tomorrow afternoon for Denver. On Friday I will be watching approximately 150 high school thespians audition at the Colorado Thespian Conference. As we are a liberal arts program, students don't have to audition to get into our school. However, last year they scouted and recruited four perspective students at this event. It's a good way to get our name and program out there. If there are students we like we will invite them to come down in February for our on campus scholarship auditions. It should be a tiring day but fun too. And I will get to meet some of my colleagues from around the state as several other colleges participate.

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

So I missed yesterday...

So sue me! :) I was at the theatre until 8pm last night working costumes. Reid came in with Tater and my dinner and helped for a little while. When we got home I plopped down on the sofa for a little bit of handsewing (yey snaps!) and Reid played on the computer. I didn't even think of blogging land.

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

Day 15

Today I am thankful for having the day off... this is the first day in over three weeks that I have not been in the theatre building! I felt a little weird driving past it without stopping... but I didn't :) I really needed today off. I cared for the kitties in the morning, went to Walmart for a few minutes this afternoon and then came home and set up the Christmas tree with Reid this evening! It is just a four foot little guy but it looks pretty sitting up on a table in our front window.

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

Day 14... or my kitty cats

Today, as I sit here and write this, Clementine is sitting on my lap. She has been sleeping in Tater's basket next to the computer all day, waiting for someone to sit down at the computer so that she could jump on a lap! And I was the first one to come along.

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.

(This is Isabel right after we moved in to our house here in Alamosa... checking out the window!)

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.
(Clemmie sleeping in her kitty basket... with her tongue stuck out!)

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

Mother Nature Hears All!

I woke up this morning a little bummed that I was not partaking in the "Black Friday" festivities. I was not joining in the fun for three reasons. First and most importantly I had no one to go with... and hitting crazy sales just isn't as much fun alone. Second, Reid and I are trying to save money in order to hopefully buy a house in the spring. And third... the closest stores (minus the tiny store-front JC Penny and Walmart) are over 100 miles away. And if you figure just how long it is going to take to cover one hundred miles... and the fact that the best sales started at 4am... I would have had to leave last night!.

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.

(This is Tater enjoying the snow in the backyard after enjoying the snow in the park!)

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!
(A picture from our front door towards the park)

And so today I am thankful for snow! Mother nature knew that I needed a pick-me-up this morning and gave it to me in beautiful white powder. Of course now I get to go scrape off my car so I can go to school and sew... but scraping will be worth it for the magnificent white views!
(And this is my gratuitous pretty snow picture!)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Today I am thankful for Thanksgiving! Reid and I had Thanksgiving dinner with Paul Newman (no, not that Paul Newman), the head of my department and his family. And of course it was hard to be so far away from our family and our friends. But they invited us in with open arms, fed us very good food and even encouraged us to bring Tater over for a walk and then to just hang out with them for dessert and conversation.

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

And now Day 11... on Day 11

As I was signing on I thought that I would write a post being thankful for other people's creativity... but it is far too late at night to begin something like that. The truth is I owe my life, my art, my income and most of my happiness to other people's imaginative creativity. So though I am thankful for it, I think I'll have to wait for another post to elaborate on it.

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.

Day 10 (on day 11... oops!)

Okay, so I missed a day. Last night was one of those chill on the sofa kind of nights and Reid and I watched a movie and I completely forgot about the blog world. So today I'll just have to post twice!

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:

(This is a disemboweled moose (I had to take the squeeker away from him, much to his chagrins)
and a blue bunny minus one leg!)

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:

(I'll leave it up to whether he is licking his lips or sticking his tongue out at me)
Sometimes he is a little bit of a pill (after finishing his kong we went back to tearing up the moose some more... did I mention that was supposed to be a present for his fur cousin, my parent's dog Albie, until he found it in the closet?). But he is ours and we wouldn't change a thing about him. I know that he had another family in Virginia before us but I do fully believe they were just time holders until we came along for him. And as I type this, he has jumped in his laundry basket which he has used as a bed since we got him which is sitting right next to me and is falling asleep.
(A cute picture of a lazy Saturday morning with two of my babies and me... I think Tater looks forward to the weekends as much as we do because it means cuddle time!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankful, Day 9

Today I am thankful for heat! I love our nice warm home and I appreciate that everyone is not as blessed as we are. Last night Reid forgot that he had turned down the heat during the day (he opened the windows to air out the place and just never turned it back up). Luckily I had him on one side and Tater on the other or I would have been a popsicle by this morning! It was hard to get out of bed and in fact I made Reid get up first and turn back up the heat!

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

Day 8

Today I am thankful for everything I have been thankful for up to this point... and holiday drinks! I love warm apple cider! I love hot chocolate! I love the coffee creamers that only come out around the holidays (you know, pumpkin spice and chocolate mint truffle, peppermint mocha, etc). Yum! And until I met my husband I wasn't a big fan of egg nog... what can I say? He's a bad influence because I now love the stuff (huge number of calories and all!). I still prefer mine straight rather than with rum though (same thing with my sweetened coffee... no need for Bailey's, thanks... If I'm going to drink alcohol I prefer it in the daquiri/margarita variety!).

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

Day of Thanks 6... and 7!

So I didn't post yesterday... oops. It was a long day and I just didn't have time between work and going out. And as I had been stressed all week (and threatening to sleep in the costume shop) I really needed to go out.

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

Day of Thanks 5

Wow! I can't believe it's already day of thanks 5... or that it is already November 15! Where has the time gone...

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

Day of Thanks 4

Today is going to be short and sweet because it is already nine o'clock in the evening and I had wanted to tackle the beginnings of a Christmas present this evening!

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

Day of Thanks 3 (or 13)

Today I am thankful for the changing seasons. I love the way the air feels crisp in the fall (though here it has been getting up into the sixties during the days... but nights are in the teens and twenties). I love the colors of the leaves and the knowledge that with October comes the best three months of the year in terms of holidays! I love going back to school (and the relief that one feels when you reach Thanksgiving break).

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

Thankful: Day 2 (or Day 12)

I know that yesterday was Veteran's Day but I thought that I would write about it today. I am so grateful to the men and women who serve this country in uniform. I don't agree with the politicians who send them into harms way all the time, but I shed many tears of gratitude when I hear what individuals and families are sacrificing under the banner of American Freedom. We have made a huge mess in Iraq (a sort of hornet's nest that was just waiting to be agitated if you ask me... and now we just have to keep holding up the net around the nest until the hornets settle down... if they settle down). But we have men and women who are working very hard to make the situation there (and by ripple effect elsewhere in the world) better. And for that I am thankful.

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

30 Days of Thanksgiving... Umhmm... Try 19!

So, I'm a little late getting started on this but I figure it's better late than never. And I have no idea if I'll be able to post every day from now until the end of November but I'm going to try.

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

Cinderella Update... and I'm grown up

First to the part of being grown up. I went to bed last night at my usual time (10:30). I was excited because today is Saturday and that meant that I would get to sleep in (the only time really all week, since I now volunteer with the cats at the shelter on Sunday mornings)! Hooray for sleeping in! There was a time when I could easily sleep until 10 or 10:30... easily. Well, at exactly 6:55am (the time the alarm clock usually goes off) Tater jumped off the bed. At 7:00am he began to whine at the baby gate in our bedroom doorway. At 7:05 I gave in, put my clothes on, took him out, fed him and have been e-mailing and blogging ever since. So much for my sleeping in (of course he is now fast asleep in the basket next to me and Reid is still peacefully sleeping in our bed). Ahh well...

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

One more Contest

I promise, I will post something real soon... but I just love these contests! Here is one that is going to continue to grow through the holiday season! Christmas Giveaway 2007 Sweepstakes

Earrings at Laura Williams' Musings

This is a plug for another person's website, Laura Williams, because she is giving away a pair of BEAUTIFUL earrings from Twisted Silver, which I would love to win. Take a look if you like :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Join in the Fun!

Check out the Holiday Scavenger Blog Hunt Party in my side bar (I'm learning... I'm sure there is some way to make the picture the link but I don't know how!).

For those who won prizes I set them out yesterday morning!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


My sister tagged me last weekend for a meme... now bare with me people, because I have not been in the blogging world for very long.

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!).

Bloggy Give-away Winners!

I had no idea that I would have the kind of turn-out that I did for my home-made ornaments. And since I had so many entries I decided to give-away each of the ornaments individually. Those who won were:
Acorn Designs

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

Thankful For...

There are so many things I'm thankful for, and as we start into the month of Thanksgiving I think this is a grea time to reflect on them.

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

Fall Y'all Bloggy Give-away!!


There is a massive bloggy give-away going on and I thought that I would get in on it!

FIRST OFF: PLEASE ENTER YOUR E-MAIL IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOG LINK... otherwise I'll have no way of contacting you!

I am giving away some home-made Christmas ornaments. I love making these kits, but the truth you can only have so many of one kind of ornament. They are nothing to fancy (Styrofoam, glue, pins and sequins), but some people really like the looks of them. I have three acorns, two gold balls and two silver balls. They can come as a lot set (or if you really only want one type specify).

All you have to do is leave a comment saying that you'd like to be entered (and if you have a preference, enter that as well!). I'll leave the contest open until Saturday morning (November 3) and will then draw a random winner! And don't worry, I'll cover shipping!
Also, please enter your e-mail address! For whatever reason blogger is not letting me see people's e-mail addresses...

Good luck (and enjoy looking through the other Bloggy Giveaways if you haven't already!).

Saturday, October 27, 2007


The biggest news around here yesterday was this. Sarah is having a girl!

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.
Isabel was snoozing on the rug in front of the back door... in the sun beam!

Clementine in the sunbeam on the rug in the kitchen!

Tater was sacked out on the sofa... no spoiled pets here!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cinderella Update

The week is done... and that means only four more weeks until Cinderella is in tech and the costumes must be done!

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

Four Day Weekend

Don't we all wish every weekend could be a four day weekend? This past week was fall break, which means that we had no classes on Thursday or Friday. And boy did I need it! I spent all most all day Thursday in the costume shop, Friday cleaning the entire house (we had fallen way behind) and a good portion of yesterday in the costume shop. I now have all of the bodices mocked up for fittings and a few garments cut out, which makes me feel pretty good about where we are. Today is going to be class planning. In other words, I had four days off but have actually done work every day! Go figure.

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:

This morning I started volunteering at the cat portion of the San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society. They have a cat adoption room on Main Street. I am going to go in on Sunday mornings and clean litter boxes, give them more food and water and mainly just pet and socialize them. There are certainly a few who have already one over my heart (namely Fuzzy, who is aptly named though he really should be named Cuddles as he wanted to be constantly held! And Grumpy, who is poorly named as he too wanted nothing more than to be held and to sit on your lap). I have wanted to volunteer with an animal rescue group for awhile and I figured now is as good a time as any. Also, part of my retention at school is based on service (which is both service to the school and service to the community). So, I thought volunteering wouldn't look bad on that front either.
And lastly as I sit and write this I'm watching the first snow of the season. No one expects it to stick and it's fluttering more than snowing... but I have to admit it's pretty (cold but pretty).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

They Don't Teach You...

I think the hardest part of the transition between being a graduate student and being a professor is the autonomy that the switch provides. As a graduate student (and indeed in all of the positions that I have held thus far in my working life), there has always been the requirement of asking permission. You ask permission to write about a certain topic. You ask for permission to teach a class and then are required to submit syllabi for approval and to constantly check in to make sure that you are "doing it correctly." While in graduate school you spend all of your time defending your beliefs, asserting your theories and all the while asking for permission to have them!

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


Here are pictures of some of our adventures!

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 is the three of us and Tater at the Sand Dunes this afternoon (thanks Reid for taking the picture!).

As we were leaving the Sand Dune National Park, we passed a herd of seven deer who were more than willing to stand and pose for pictures! Really beautiful!


Sorry it's been such a long time blogging. Last week my mother and then my sister arrived and we have been busy enjoying ourselves since then! I am working hard at work trying to plan for our Wednesday material shopping trip for Cinderella.

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

New Camera!! And homecoming

We bought a new camera! Hooray! I just loaded the new software onto the computer so pictures will recommence. Yesterday was Adams State Homecoming. We attended the parade in the morning (it goes down Main Street. It's not particularly large but bigger than I expected quite frankly).
(The Color Guard at the start of the parade)

Then in the afternoon we attended the football game. They lost, but only by two points and it was a really close game all along. At any rate I was very proud of my students who are football players, one of whom is a starter and played almost every defensive play!

(The Football Team pre-game)

At halftime the marching band took the field and I took this picture for Dad... Our marching band has 26 members!! It's a small group to say the least. But they have a new band director this year who is hoping to grow the group.

(Small but mighty!)

And just because I thought it was funny, I thought I would add a picture of our "mortal enemies."

(Tater actually sat on Clementine and then laid down next to her for this shot)

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm ahead!

It is Friday at 5pm. I'm getting ready to leave work. And I have two of my classes planned for the next week and a half!!! This weekend I still have to tackle voice for performance, to get those planned out. But I am really happy. With this planning done it means that I'll be able to concentrate next week on Cinderella (auditions are Sunday, and callbacks Monday). I'll also get to relax and enjoy having my family here, which will be fabulous! I only wish Dad was coming too (though 4 people in a 700 sq. foot house should be interesting, let alone five!).

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

People are Coming!

I am uber-excited because my mom is coming to town next Tuesday and my sister next Thursday! Neither of them have been to Alamosa so it will be a chance for me to show off the town that I live in and the school that I now work for. Then that following weekend we will be going to the Taos Sheep and Wool Festival, which should be a great deal of fun as well... hooray!

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

Veggie Recipes

So, I had a request from a friend for a few of Reid and I's favorite vegeterain dishes. So, rather than just typing them up in an e-mail I thought that I would post them all here so that anyone who wanted to could try them.

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!)
3 eggs
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

End of another week

Today is Friday!!! Although, truthfully, since starting this job I am enjoying the weeks as much as the weekends. This has been a good week. I like my students. I like my classes. I like working in the costume shop (I spend the mornings in classes, thinking and being intellectual and then get to spend the afternoon being hands-on). Because I wanted to assess where my work study students are in terms of sewing I brought in some hat patterns and have given them free reign of our meager material supply. And they really jumped into it (I too am making an adorable little hat as well!). Hopefully they will be as excited to tackle Cinderella costumes.

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

Impatient Father

This post is for my impatient father! :)

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

Another week done

As I am winding down this Friday afternoon, I thought that I would post to let all six of my loyal blog readers know that I am still alive and well. This week has been harder than the last. As Reid started working on Monday, I went home Monday and Wednesday to let Tater go potty in the middle of the day. But that meant, in essence, that I lost eight hours of planning time (because of course I got virtually nothing done at home). So this coming week I am either going to have to go home for just an hour each day and then come back (which Tate-Tate will hate, but so be it) or I'm going to have to just buckle down and really do work at home (there are just so many more distractions there than in my office)!

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

A Quiet Weekend

After much travelling/sightseeing last weekend Reid and I have chosen to have a nice quiet weekend this time around. Yesterday we went for about a four mile walk on some of the local Alamosa trails. We came home, I made brownies, he made dinner and I watched tv for most of the evening. I also finished Harry Potter 6 on Friday, which means I might have to go buy 7 today!

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

Back to the Grind

After a three day weekend it was difficult, but I am back to the flow of school. On Sunday Reid, Tater and I drove down to Taos, New Mexico. It is a fabulous town with lots of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. I scoped out where the wool festival is going to be for when Sarah and Mom come to visit in October (and there are two yarn shops in Taos as well).

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

Saturday Hike

Yesterday we (Reid, myself, Tater and two new faculty at Adams State who are married, Jared and Renee) set off for the "San Juan Wilderness." The San Juan Mountain Range is the range that makes the western border of the San Luis Valley. We drove to just a few miles north of the New Mexico/Colorado border. Jared and Renee had bought a book on the hiking trails around the Valley and picked the one we hiked randomly as it had multiple mountain lakes along it.
(On our way up the mountain)

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!").

(One of the beautiful meadows we came across)

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!).

(Renee, Tater and I on the way back down the path)

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!

(A massive beaver dam along the way... a true sign that there was lots of wildlife nearby, even if we didn't see them!)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Post

The week is almost done and then I have a three day weekend! Hooray!! I know that it sounds crazy, as I only started working a week and a half ago, but an extra day off sounds fabulous!

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

Great Sand Dunes and Zapata Falls

Reid and I decided to be tourist yesterday and headed for the Great Sand Dunes (they're about thirty miles east and north of Alamosa). We got there about 12:30 (the hottest part of the day). Though the air was only about 80, the sand on the dunes can reach 140. And as we had Tater, we did not actually climb the dunes. Instead we walked along the creek bed at the bottom of the dunes known as Medano Creek (there is only flowing water a few months of the year). Despite there being no flowing water the sand was cool to the touch and Tater enjoyed the walk very much. The dunes are breathtakingly beautiful and such a bizarre natural phenomenon. We bought a year pass, so we will be going back when it is cooler to climb them.

(Reid and Tater in the "creek")
On our way back from the Dunes, we stopped at Zapata Falls. It is an intense three mile climb... for the car :) The road up to the Falls is pretty steep and a lot of switch backs, because the falls lie in the foothills of Mt. Blanca (the mountain at the end of the Sangre de Cristo range, and the second highest peak in Colorado). Once you get to the parking lot it is only about a half mile climb up to the stream that is fed by the falls.

(This is the path... a bit rocky but if you take it slow it's not too bad. Tater laid down at one point to drink his water!)

(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.

(This is the small crack)

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.

(Us with the base of the waterfall behind us)

Tater was exceptional for the whole thing, forging the water as we asked him to (though there were a few times we picked him up because the water was so cold and at points a little deep for him). We walked back to our car with a renewed vigor in our steps, the cold water and beautiful sight of the waterfall fresh in our minds. Ahhh... it's good to be a tourist!

(We met some very nice tourist from Buffalo, NY on the way back down the mountain who took our picture and then we took theirs)