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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Long Week, Good Week...

This week has been, perhaps, the longest week of my life yet at Adams. Rehearsals began on Monday for Bright Ideas. That means that I'm leaving my house between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning and getting home at about 10:30 at night. Two of the days last week I did come home for a couple of hours in the late afternoon before returning to work for the start of rehearsals at 7. I plan to do more of that next week and in the following weeks.

I did not realize, however, how much I relied on the idea that I could "get it done" later in the evening. I don't frequently bring home a lot of work, but the fact that now I can't does add a bit of pressure to be more productive during the day. And I'll probably spend a good portion of tomorrow in my office planning and preparing for the coming week.

Rehearsals are going well and I am really enjoying myself (as is my cast hopefully). Last night I choreographed the fight scenes for the last scene of the play and they are a lot of fun. We then ran through the entire play with blocking. Monday we start on individual scene work, my favorite part of the process! I have three more weeks of "regular" rehearsal and then a week of technical rehearsals... so we are in a really good place after our first week.

Today Reid and I spent most of the day in Alamosa. It was the annual "Arts Walk" which means that many of the downtown businesses were displaying art by local artist. There was also poetry readings and music performances. Reid and I have talked about seeing if we can get some of his metalwork involved next year... and if I'm feeling frisky I might prepare something for the open mic! Then we headed to Walmart where I bought a whole bunch of seeds and some little inside greenhouse boxes to get some of our seeds a head start (our growing period is verily short here in the valley so anything that needs longer than about a sixty day growing cycle needs to be started indoors and then moved outside... so all of my herbs and onions will get started tomorrow)! I am so excited to start our garden. With the expense of putting in a fence to keep critters out of it (mainly our dogs) and preparing the soil (which is really sand so we'll be dumping a LOT of top soil into it), I doubt that we'll save any money by gardening over grocery shopping this year... but it'll be a lot of fun, hopefully relaxing and tastey too!

How about you? How is your weekend going?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring "Break"

So this last week has been spring break and apparently it has been a self-imposed break from blogging as well. I got some house work done, some bonding time with my pups and Reid... and a little bit of school work done as well. Most importantly I got rest. I start rehearsals for Bright Ideas tomorrow... and that means that I'll be at school Monday through Friday from early in the morning until at least ten pm. I needed this week to recharge my batteries and am glad that I was able to do so.

Luckily for me, Reid had Thursday and Friday of this week off as well. He has been putting in a lot of over-time lately, and though the county can't pay him for the time they can compensate him with time off. Thursday he worked on overhauling his shop. His main birthday present was lumber (romantic, I know) so that he could build some benches and work tables. Also on Thursday I took three of our four pets to the vet (only Tater didn't have to go). Happy to report that everyone got a clean bill of health (though Clementine's shot made her very cranky for two full days afterward!).

Friday was a very fun day for us. Reid, the dogs and I ran some errands and then hit the road! We went to the Garden of the Gods National Park in Colorado Springs. For those who don't know, it's a park within the city limits that is nationally recognized because of the bizarre rock formations that are located within the park, namely really big red stones. They look strangely out of place and really beautiful, even against the cloudy sky that we saw them against.

The dogs, me... and the "Siamese Twins"

All four of us (obviously something behind us was infinitely more interesting... at least to the dogs)

A pretty shot of some of the rock formations, even with random strangers in front of them!

The dogs really enjoyed the walks (we walked for around two hours on two different paths). They did not enjoy the car ride there. Each of them puked twice. I think they are trying to prepare me for motherhood. We also stopped at Petsmart before we got to the park and, let's just say, it's going to take a bit more training for Winston to be a part of respectable society. Every time he sees another dog he gets excited and starts baying... no little bark here. And, of course, when Winston starts, Tater does as well (not that Tater has any idea what they are barking/baying about mind you). Having one baying beagle in a store is a little embarrassing. Having two is enough for me to send them outside with daddy while I paid at the check-out!

The other big news of Friday was that after the park we stopped at Home Depot. A few weeks back we received a nice refund from our mortgage company because they with-held more escrow than they needed to in order to pay our taxes. We have been wanting, desperately, to replace some of the light fixtures in our house. We ended up buying six fixtures and the replacing took us most of Saturday morning, but goodness was it worth it. They look great!!

Unfortunately, we did not fully understand the wiring of our guest bathroom. You see there is an overhead light and two vanity lights, with one light switch. You would assume that all three lights are controlled by the one switch. Well, we all know what assuming does. After installing new vanity lights on either side (which we first spray painted a great gun metal color), we found out why the lights we replaced had their own little switches on the bottoms... they aren't controlled by the switch. Only the ceiling light is. The vanity lights are on the same breaker as the light in the laundry room, which also has a pull chain to turn it off and on. In other words, unless we want the vanity lights to be on all the time (or we want to turn them on and off by going outside and throwing that breaker) we would have to break into the conduit and install a second switch in the bathroom. Yeah... we don't feel like going to that much work. So... after several options were discussed (including a trip to Walmart that left me pining for a Home Depot to come to Alamosa), we decided that we are going to spray paint the old fixtures that were up there, look for new glass hurricanes for them... and call it good enough. The fixtures that we hung in the bathroom will be taken down and installed one in our bedroom and one in our living room (replacing two more ugly lights... really, the ugly light quotient of this house was through the roof).

I thought I would show you the changes photo-journalism style, 'cause that's just how I roll. Here you go:

I hate fluorescent lights... Okay, maybe hate is too strong of a word and should be reserved for things like war, injustice, etc. Okay, I dislike them in shops, and labs... but in a kitchen they are truly horrible.

Here is the handy Reid hanging our new track lights! He offered to take a photo of me hanging the lights as well. I declined... and let's say that is because I want you all to think that I have a handy husband who does it all for me and not because my hair was three kinds of crazy and I was still wearing my pajamas!

And here is the best picture I can get of the track lights during the day. They give out a great amount of focused light... and at night they look great! They definitely make our cabinets look better than the plywood things that they are! Unfortunately, the only thing this picture really shows is that our refrigerator door is begging to be decluttered.

All I can say about this chandelier, that is not centered in the dining room but hanging in the middle of nowhere is yuck!

This is the other light that was in the big dining room... yes, you would be right in saying "But Jenna, they don't come anywhere close to matching one another"). I'm just not a fan of the bright shiny gold...

So, this is what we replaced both of those fixtures with (sorry it's so dark). The design is NOTHING like what I though we would go with, but now that we have them up, I love them. They complement the yellow walls and give out a really beautiful glow. They are classic and yet simple.

And, most importantly, they match!!

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of this light fixture before we dissambled it to take it down (at this point in the process the "fun" of hanging lights was gone and we just wanted to get it done!). This adorable children's fan was hanging in our guest bedroom... where it looked totally out of place. And Reid swore that every time he looked at it, he felt like he had just entered a circus tent.

So we replaced it with this! Look familiar? We spray painted this fixture (and the light at the bottom of the stairs that matches it) and I like them much more this color. It is a nice, neutral light for a guest bedroom.

And finally the poor misguided bathroom... here are the light fixtures that we wanted to boot out the door, but will now most likely be finding hurricanes for and repainting (at which time I am sure that I will love them muchly).

Though, aren't these perfect and beautiful there? Sigh... ah well, these will find other homes in our house.

And for all of you environmentally conscious readers, never fear. The ugly chandelier, the flourescent lights and the circus fan will all be going to property storage at Adams State, to be used (no doubt) on a future set. And when we replace the ugly lights in the bedroom and living room, those will go live at Adams too.

If you read all the way to the end of this post... thank you! You have a great deal of patience. And mom and dad, hopefully this will satiate your need for Jenna info for at least a few days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to All!

March is the month of birthdays it seems!

First, my mother and niece shared a birthday on Tuesday. Happy birthday mom and Raley!
Later this month my dad will have his birthday...
And today is my wonderful husband's 30th birthday! We went out to dinner last night and today I have told him, repeatedly, he is to do whatever he wants (so he's out tinkering in his shop).

Happy birthday Reid! I hope that we have another sixty years together!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Husband... the Greatest Fixer in the World!

The past week Reid has been outdoing himself with being extra handy around the house!

First up... the first-ever blacksmithing project that he has completed exclusively for me (if you don't count the chain that he made me when we were dating... not exactly sure what I was supposed to do with an iron chain, perhaps it was symbolic?). Awhile back I mentioned some of the things on my "wish list" from Reid. This past Sunday, he hung up the first project (all seven sets of them in the living room).

(This is three of the sets... yes, we have a lot of windows in our living room)

Aren't they pretty???

He actually designed them to have the curl go up, but I like them going down... He said that was fine as I'm the decorator, it just means they'll be upside down :)

Posing with his artwork.

Next, we've been trying to not drive the Mitsubishi after the sun goes down because a few weeks ago we discovered that one of the headlights was burned out. I bought a replacement (again several weeks ago)... and then I waited for the headlight fairy to come and put it in place for me. Guess what? The headlight fairy visited our house on Sunday too! (and just for the record said fairy wants to take it up with the makers of the 1998 Mitsubishi because apparently you have to take the battery out of the car in order to replace the front left headlight... I know, pretty dumb).

Reid saying, "This is the one!"

And finally... we were lying in bed Sunday morning and Reid asked me "What do you want for your birthday?," which I'm sure all of you know is coming up in April (what it's not marked on your calendars?). I thought about it for a split second, and said "I want our dishwasher to work." You see, when we did our house inspection (almost a year ago to the day) the water wasn't connected to the dishwasher. We, in our house-buying naivete, said "Don't worry about it. I'm sure it works just fine." And when we turned the water on the first time, it did indeed run... water all over the kitchen floor. Now, since we had used our small amount of financial resources to purchase the house that goes around the dishwasher we did not call a repairman right away. Instead we put it on our "to do" list... a year ago. In the meantime, we washed all of our dishes by hand and used the dishwasher as a very expensive dish drying unit.... drip drying unit.

Well, Sunday was a busy day for Reid. We started house cleaning and he decided that rather than just clean the kitchen, he would take apart the dishwasher. Now mind you, my husband is a very handy man but has no knowledge about dish washers (or really any other kitchen appliance). So... to say that I was skeptical would be a bit of an understatement. In fact, I had visions of having to call the repair man to come fix whatever was originally broken AND whatever Reid managed to misplace. I now, with great humility, admit that I was unduly unsupportive. He figured out (in less than an hour) what part was broken, got online, ordered said part and waited until today for it to arrive. When I walked in the door from work, he was on his hands and knees, leaning under the dishwasher and replacing the offending part. I am now busting at the seams with joy that our dishwasher is running through an entire cycle and as of this posting, is not leaking out onto the floor!

I just heard from the kitchen "It's working! I am the man!"... perhaps too many successful house projects might go to his head? It's a risk I just have to take.

I told him that if this is the response I get to requests on my "to do" list when it's a birthday present, how many more things can I cross off the list before April? Weather-stripping the kitchen door, here we come! And I won't even ask him to put a bow on it!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I love my job...

It may be one of the only jobs in the world where surfing you-tube for videos about how to build mascot costumes and then looking at maternity swimsuits on Old Navy and Target is not only accepted... but expected. I love my job!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I have a cast!

And I'm not talking about the broken arm kind... After auditions on Sunday, and call backs last night I have cast Bright Ideas with a cast of ten fine student actors... I now have three weeks (two weeks of classes and a week of spring break) to get the rest of my life and classes in order so that I can start rehearsals March 23!

Speaking of those other classes... off to read about acting Shakespeare!