Wesley's Timeline

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

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!)