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Monday, December 17, 2012

Long Time No See

I haven't done anything yet lately. Seriously. I'm bored beyond belief.

Nothing is new and exciting. No projects at home. Just maintaining a low standard of clean...okay, that isn't true. I've really realized lately how OCD I really am. I can't just wash my hands, I have to wash my hands and then wipe away the spots on the faucet and if anything else within sight is out of place, I'll have to fix that too. I have a problem. It takes me forever to go to bed or to leave the house. I've decided I shouldn't actually go outdoors at all. Wouldn't that be dreamy?

I could become a Christmas hermit. Living by the glow of the white twinkly lights. Curled up on my super small sofa watching Christmas movie after Christmas movie on TV. I could even finally tackle holiday baking with all that time to myself. Luckily it is finally wintery mixing outside and I have a great excuse to park it. For tonight anyhow.

Nothing makes me happier than hanging at home with Peanut.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Holidays!


I haven't done anything yet, but I had this brilliant idea tonight. The Xmas decorations had me craving a grasshopper...a holiday tradition my mom and I used to share.

I don't usually have dairy, but all of a sudden the light bulb went off connecting banana ice cream with the possibility of a grasshopper I could actually enjoy.

I pulled a bag of frozen banana out of my freezer and threw it in the Ninja. Added coconut milk to reach the 1 cup level. And then the magic happened with a tablespoon each of creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Yummy! It's just like Christmas in a cup! 

Xmas Is Coming

Finally got the tree up and all the other little pieces are falling into place. I thought my father would appreciate the lovely right angles of my new arrangement even if the angles are kitty wampus to the walls. This is why I got smaller sofas. It finally works!

I also got sick of all the stuff out of place due to the barricading of the basement. I unbarricaded today, so keep your fingers crossed we won't have a mouse stirring tonight.

I can't wait to kick up my heels, pop in a holiday movie, and pop up a treat for Peanut and me. On the agenda for tomorrow... Holiday baking. I hope to find a few tasty gluten free alternatives to holiday favorites. Any suggestions?

Friday, November 30, 2012

GF Mini Herbal Cheese Pies


My recipe is up on the Chebe Facebook Page! Head on over and vote for these tasty little pies. And then pick up your own Chebe and try them out. They were really tasty with my leftover mashed potato soup last night. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Love Me Some Chebe

So I finally submitted a recipe on the Chebe facebook page. Be sure to head over there to like their page and follow their contest link to vote. I'm not sure how long it will take to get up on the page, but it is GF Mini Herbal Cheese Pies.

They are almost as delightful as the originals with a pie crust were. I highly recommend trying them out. That is if the recipe goes up. The contest is supposed to end November 30th at 5pm, so you'll have to take quick action to vote me to the top so I can get my five year supply of Chebe products. Pretty please! It's delightfully delicious! Just sayin'.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ugh

So I come home tonight totally not down with confronting the mouse in my house. And yet somehow I gathered the strength to face the demon. I gathered my laundry into an overflowing basket, unbarricaded the back door, and then realized that although the basement lights had been on when I was home for lunch, they were not on now. I glanced to my right to see that the light switch was still in the on position. What the hell?

I closed the door, returning the laundry basket to my bedroom, and resigned myself to the fact that I would not be confronting the mouse tonight. As I began preparing soup, I realized I needed a can of diced tomatoes from my pantry. Nothing can hold up the cooking. I dug out my flashlight, slammed the door several times to scare away the mouse, and stomped down the stairs with my laundry.

Once safely into the basement with no immediate mouse attack, I turned on all the lights I could find. I found a light bulb to replace the one I assumed was burned out. As I twisty turned the bulb into the socket, I couldn't help but notice how the light did not come on. I scaled the stairs to check that the light switch was in the on position. It was. What the hell? A fuse out?

Ugh. I hate replacing fuses more than I hate mice. It is so scary to me. At least with the mouse I can ignore it in my basement. I can't ignore a blown fuse. And as fate would have it, I can never find the damn one that is blown either. Of course none of them are marked. And they all look the same. After trying several times to screw in the wrong fuse and seeing sparks, my nerves were shot. I stormed off to ignore the problem momentarily.

I finished dinner and finally headed out to pick up the right fuses. I tackled the fuse project right off when I got back home and surprisingly enough, the fuse I thought was out, was not out. And I can't find the bad one. Shoot me in the face. I can't take any more tonight. I think this is going to be another call to the landlord tomorrow. Have I ever mentioned how I need constant care?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sweet Mother Of God

So in retrospect, that squeaking I heard when I entered my house through the dark back door entrance tonight, that I thought sounded like a mouse... was. The scary thing is that he's been sitting in that damned back hall waiting for me to let him up into the house since I got home hours ago. I'm sure he just followed me right in.

Luckily I must have opened the door to the basement too swiftly and perhaps the jingle jangle of my door knob bells startled the little bastard because he went scurrying down the stairs and, I assume, over the edge and under. I screamed like a little girl and slammed the door shut again. Then I opened it again and stood wide eyed waiting for the next move.

After all I was just starting to pack for my Thanksgiving trip and I have stuff and things in the basement that I need. And where the hell did he go anyhow? Where the crap is he now? Is he hiding in my jeans or eating through the side of my suitcase?

I'm so beyond upset about this whole situation. I can't pack. I can't sleep. All the lights in my house are on. Does that help? And I found things to stuff in door cracks and over open vents to the basement that I hope he can't eat through. I hope. But how does one feel safe in her own home after being violated so?

I'm really excited to get the crap out of this hell hole for a few days. Who is going to catch this mouse for me while I'm gone?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Practically Thanksgiving

I cleaned this weekend like I am actually hosting the turkey festivities at my house. From top to bottom. Spilling bacon grease all over my kitchen this morning was a great motivator to get that ball rolling.

I started with a little vacuuming before getting down on my hands and knees to scrub the kitchen floor. And at that distance you can actually see the dirt, grime, and dust collecting under the stove and behind the fridge. So I pulled them out and cleaned behind both. I broke out the Greased Lightening to tackle the stove grime, which led me to clean all the Coca Cola stuff and things that just sit on a shelf collecting grease and dust. Everything is degreased and sparkly clean!

Then I remembered I usually wash the windows and curtains in sync with daylight savings time. And so all the curtains came down and took turns dancing in the washing machine while I wiped away the summer's dust from my windows. The sparkly windows let in so much light I was excited to get the fresh curtains back up. I just have ironing to do on the kitchen curtains otherwise everything is back in place.

It even smells clean in here. I wish it would stay this way indefinitely! I hope it stays this way at least through the holiday weekend. Because after Thanksgiving I'm going to be good and ready to begin decking the halls for Christmas!

But in the meantime, I'm enjoying a glass of wine and a little Home for the Holidays. *sigh* I can hardly wait for turkey day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

YAWN!

Yesterday was a LONG day at the convention center. Thirteen hours all together. That really does a number on an old lady's joints! After about four thousands trips back and forth across the hard, concrete floor, I could feel it in my knees, hips, and ankles. My whole everything was exhausted.

By the time I rolled out, car loaded with banners, registration cards, and expo leftoverness, I was fighting to keep my eyes open. By the time I got home, Peanut and I were ready for our late night dinner. I believe it was popcorn and red wine. Really an ideal way to top off the day. And with eyes already closing, I shuffled off to bed. I was only awake long enough to stretch out my seized up leg muscles and roll over....zzzzz.

Although I slept like the dead, morning came too early and I was on deck to keep watch at the front desk this morning. A long day followed by a long morning, a busy afternoon, and a few hours of overtime. And perhaps a few hours this weekend. Okay, definitely.

After pushing through that "I don't want to cook" portion of the evening home time, I managed to prepare parmesan chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. The perfect comfort food for a really trying week. I'm so glad I put in the effort, but wished I would have had the motivation to make my own ketchup. Maybe for the leftovers.

Another glass or two of red wine and I'm in the same boat as yesterday. Ready for a long winter's nap. I want to sleep all weekend and yet, I'm really hoping this beautiful weather holds out. I'm pretty sure this is the weekend to finally tackle the fall yard work before it's Thanksgiving and Christmas and the Easter Bunny comes hopping through and trips over my sprinkler.

Perhaps a long weekend is in my future as well. Let's hope it feels that way!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dental Drama

So... I have not been to the dentist in fourteen years. Seems longer than it feels. It seems like just yesterday I was visiting the dentist ....  a friend of the family who talked me up about theatre.... and my parents were paying for it (thanks mom and dad!)... or their insurance was.

I gave up on dentists early on in my "on my own" years. I've never had a cavity and I hate doctors... it seemed only natural that I no longer needed a dentist. Even though, with my first real job I decided I needed dental insurance...just in case.... and have been paying for it for eleven years without utilizing it. I feel like I should have good dental karma built up. (Wait for it...no).

So with a possibly impending job switch on the horizon, I hastily made a few doctors appointments. Yes. Me. I really did. I went in for an annual exam on Tuesday... or as I like to call it... tri-annual exam. And I had a dentist appointment lined up for this afternoon for a cleaning. Even though this is an event week, I felt as though it was important for me to squeeze these appointments in before the health insurance lapses and I'm screwed.  I even went over with the dental office on the phone that I had not been to a dentist in fourteen years and I just wanted a cleaning. I feel as though my eleven years of dental insurance should buy me a freaking cleaning for chrise sake.

So after I start my day running to the event center to check in on vendor load in progress, deliver banners, and pick up event programs. I run back to the office to squeeze in some screen time getting a few things knocked off the to-do list before I run back to the center to unload and inventory groceries for the big show tomorrow. The refrigerator is not yet ready to cool the groceries, someone literally drives over a bag of groceries,  tables aren't set up... need I go on? So I finish up there, run home for lunch, brush (and floss for crying out loud!) my teeth before heading to the west side dental location.

They give me the you haven't been to a dentist in forever song and dance guilt routine which leads to xrays and photos of my teeth along with poking and prodding and pain. They claim I have three cavities. And then they hit me with the cleaning bill of over a thousand dollars... plus more for fillings at a later date. I no longer can have just a cleaning, but need super specialized cleaning. In the retail world, my friends, this would be called bait and switch. So apparently I cannot just get a routine cleaning that my insurance will pay for, I have to pay for the we're going to screw you over cleaning.

I was beyond pissed. Especially since I had specifically asked when I made the appointment if I could get a cleaning when I hadn't been to the dentist in forever. Like I wanted to waste two hours of my pre-event day at the goddamn dentist getting raped? Yes. Where do I sign up? So, of course I declined their services and still had to pay $98 dollars for all the useless things I didn't want them to do in the first place... and still didn't get a cleaning out of the whole mess. (This is beginning to remind me of my first doctors experience in Springfield... for someone that hates doctors... Springfield is not the ideal locale).

And what do I have to show for it? I stupid goddamned toothbrush. The icing on the cake. They had to give me a stupid toothbrush on the way out. I don't even use a toothbrush. I feel like I just got raped for a $98 toothbrush. It is probably going to be a long, long, time before I trust another dentist.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Don't Even Know

Oh my. It has sure been a long haul lately. Life is currently all up in the air. So let's focus on what I know.

Peanut had a stint starting two weeks ago where he decided he wasn't interested in eating anymore. Except treats. He still eats treats. I've been trying adding water to his food to soften it. Yogurt, which he turned his nose up at. And parmesan cheese sprinkles, which may have made him sick, but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy...mostly. And I got to get a new rug because of it, so that is nice.

But it turns out Peanut really loves the soft dog food mixed with his regular nuggets.  I think he's back on track to eating on a regular basis. Whew. Another near-death averted. He does still have issues with the long drive to Wisconsin and being able to walk afterwards. So what did we do? Packed it all in and drove to Wisconsin.

It was worth it though. I had a fantabulous time with Wisconsin friends and all my family. It is nice to see those closest to you when you don't know much of anything else. At least I know I can always high tail it to Wisconsin for a mental getaway. Now that I'm done with plays for awhile I may be able to getaway more often. I can only hope. I may need it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Made It

I survived yet another birthday even after a close call with a propane heater in a beer garden. Okay, it wasn't really a close call, but considering I always fear for my life on my birthday, I wasn't taking any chances. As they click, click, clicked and the darn heater just wouldn't light, I backed away slowly.

I really needed the few drinks I had on my birthday. It had been a long day and a long week leading up to that moment. I had rehearsals Monday and Tuesday and full, full, full days of work to boot in preparation for seminars on Wednesday and another event this weekend.

After a long, but boring seminar day and a long evening tonight trying to dig out from under the avalanche of papers in my office, I almost feel ready for Friday. I'm sitting on about six political orders that I'm still missing various pieces for, as if Friday's weren't crazy enough. I'm going to feel like I'm drowning in forms and last minute politicalness and I wanted to get as much off my desk as possible before it hits.

I made a lot of progress, but tomorrow is still going to be a long day. And it's once again the longest week ever. How is it that each week is longer than the previous one? I suppose I should catch a quick cat nap before then.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Eve

On this birthday eve I'm thankful for freshly dyed hair. Although I don't think I have any grey hairs yet as I enter my thirty-fifth year, I sure as hell had significant roots.

I'll start the year with a slightly lighter red and who knows what the rest of the year has in store for me. Blonde, brown, burgundy, pink? I'm craving change and you never know how that will turn out for my hair!

I'm just hoping I can manage the strangely hot and humid birthday weather tomorrow and everything else that rains down on me. Birthday wishes do come true and I can't wait to blow out the candles!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Birthday Weekend

For a pre-birthday weekend, it sure was a quiet one. I had a little funsies out on Friday. Which caused me to have a super-mellow Saturday followed by a less than productive Sunday. I had a whole weekend with nothing to do and I did nothing with it.

Today was beautiful. It would have been the perfect opportunity to clean up my yard for fall. Did I? No.

I intended to make Peanut a new comfy bed cover. Did I? No.

The only productive thing I accomplished was two loads of dishes because pretty much all I did this weekend was cook. Except for a birthday cake. I was intending to make myself grain-free red velvet cupcakes, but didn't. I purchased the ingredients, so I'm hoping for an early evening home in time to whip up a batch on Monday.

It was actually really great doing practically nothing, but I'm already regretting the loss of my next weekend which isn't going to allow me as much leisure time. It's going to be a long and stressful week. Happy Birthday to me...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Freezing Over

Despite the warm weather in Springfield, I feel a chill down here.

As the end of the year approaches, my mind is turning to healthcare. I'm feeling like I need to bite the bullet and find some health care providers in this town. I had to create my accounts on insurance websites. Yeah. I've never done that. I had to search for doctors and dentists.

I struck out on finding a doctor. My search turned up no results in Springfield. How the hell can there be no doctors in my network in Springfield? I hate insurance. I sent a few informational requests online and gave up on that for now. (It's easy to give up quickly on something you'd prefer not to do in the first place). Did I mention how much I hate doctors?

I had better luck with Dentists. I found the practice in my list of providers that I had received a tip about and submitted a request for an appointment online. It's almost like it's really happening. It's been a long, long time since I've visited a dentist and I feel as though I'll be less excited about it when a date is set and I really have to go.

Is this what being an adult feels like? Making those doctor appointments because you know it is in your best interest? I don't like it. I wouldn't recommend becoming an adult to any of you out there considering it. I feel the chilly breeze of hell freezing over.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Longest Week Ever

Oh how it does drag on!

Work is busy but I swear, each day feels like at least three. I have just enough time between work and rehearsals to take care of the doggy business at home and rush off to the theatre. I can't even believe tomorrow is already Friday.

I'm hoping work only feels like one day, because rehearsal is going to feel like seven. It's the last night before we open to a sold out house and we need to run the show twice in full costume, hair, and make up. I'm tired just thinking about it!

But after a late rehearsal tonight I managed to throw together a salad for the potluck tomorrow, get a couple loads of laundry spinning, plus dishes, trash out, and vacuuming. All ready for the folks' visit tomorrow!

Peanut and I can hardly wait, but once they are here, I'll just want to sleep! Better get a few winks under my belt starting now.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Tech!

I can't believe it is tech week already! I feel as though we should have another week under our belts! I think I was so focused on the Halloween performance, I forgot we open two and a half weeks before then. And I had a whole week off smack dab in the middle!

What was I thinking?

Luckily we have a Floyd's rehearsal tomorrow. That's bound to lift my spirits! In the meantime I just need to memorize the ending. Line!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Escape By Wild Rice Soup, et al

I woke up early for a Sunday morning and for ... well... being me. Slightly before 8am, which is even more impressive considering I almost polished off a bottle of red wine and was up well past midnight last night. After a few wake up routine activities, I couldn't deny I was up for the day.

I headed right for the kitchen to feed Peanut, start the percolator, and begin preparations for a sweet potato hash breakfast. I had popped into the grocery store "for a few things" yesterday and stumbled across some great stock up sales. I began dicing my sweet potato and quickly moved on to the peppers, bagging up the extras and delivering them directly to the freezer. By the time the hash was done cooking I had two bags of diced peppers in the freezer and an egg over easy ready to top the pile of potatoes on my plate. Yummy!

I took a short coffee break before heading back into the kitchen to start preparing lunch and dinner. It's tech week for the play, so I'm really thinking ahead to easy reheatable leftover lunches and dinners. I can't get enough of this chicken wild rice soup lately, so I'm cooking up a batch of that and thought I'd share the recipe here. I figure I can always freeze individual servings, but I haven't had a batch with leftovers enough to freeze yet. I seriously love this soup. So here it is...

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
salt and pepper
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
1/4 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
3/4 C wild rice
32oz low sodium chicken broth (gluten free)
2 C water
1 C unsweetened coconut milk
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder (you can add more or less to thicken according to preference)
1/4 C parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Heat oil in stock pot, add carrots, celery, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Flatten out chicken thighs on the bottom of the pan and brown slightly (a few minutes per side).

3. Add seasonings, rice, broth, and water. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

5. Remove chicken and dice. Return to pot. Simmer another 30 minutes.

6. Combine milk and arrowroot powder (I use a shaker, you could whisk them together).

7. Slowly pour milk mixture into pot while stirring.

8. Remove from heat and stir in cheese if using.

And while that was simmering away, I sliced and diced two boxes of large mushrooms for the freezer. I held back a few for the beef roast I'm prepping for dinner. I sliced more carrots, measured out my spices, and reserved a cup of coffee. Yeah. Coffee.  That is the secret delicious ingredient for slow cooker beef roast. It makes it oh so delightful. And zippy! Especially if you make gravy from it. YUM! YUM! YUM!

So that's about it. I spent the entire morning from breakfast through lunch in the kitchen. Cooking is one of those things I love to do, but feel guilty about it. Like I'm wasting my time slicing and dicing. I guess I feel guilty about it because there are many other less enjoyable tasks I could be doing, but I'm doing something I love. Suck it vacuuming! I'm not changing any time soon. Cooking is a glorious escape from reality.

More Wrenches

You ever think "I cannot possibly handle all this" and then you get another three more wrenches thrown at your face? I'm with ya.

I just really need something to turn around. Something has to be looking up soon. I'm really sick of the workload. I'm really sick of the personal problems. I'm really sick of the stress. I'm really sick.

I'm trying to focus on the positives in my life, but right now that is a polished kitchen table for crying out loud. I need something good. Soon.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Heartbreak

We learned this week about the passing of a dear old friend of Peanut's. It breaks my heart to say goodbye to his buddy. We had fond memories of you little guy and I know you lived a fulfilled life.

Peanut wags his tail to say goodbye one last time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Assimilating

Not so much.

After the worst sales conference ever and a few days to myself in Wisconsin, I'm not doing well on my first day back in the real world.

It didn't help that I ran out of stomach meds today. I usually take these in the morning and by 9 o'clock my stomach was churning with the stress of a million piles of paper turning into pure acid in my stomach. It's probably a bad sign to think about your next vacation the moment you get back. It just seems I'm not healing very well with the continued stress.

I had arrived home late last night and I needed time to unwind from all the caffeine I popped on the drive home. I unpacked, straightened my life, and crawled into bed about 1am. Not that I could let go to fall asleep right away. I'm hoping for a slight improvement tonight.

After a busy, busy, busy day, and a grey sky for my drive home all I wanted was to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head until the Mayans come a knocking. But I had rehearsal. I feel as though it wasn't too long ago I was toting the healing properties of theatre. Well, my stomach wasn't having it tonight. I think rehearsal made things worse.

I'm finding solace in normal household activities tonight. Trying to get my house in order while semi-watching some action flick. Okay, it's Sherlock Holmes for a little cockney study. I just can't get sucked into action movies. It is always at the peak "action" moments I get bored and get up to change the laundry or take Peanut out. At least I'll be able to send the movie back tomorrow. It's almost like I watched it.

I think I need a good, non-cockney movie lined up for this weekend. I plan to lock myself away in the house all weekend. I really need to recover from vacation and recharge my batteries...maybe heal a little.  I did pick up stomach meds today and have gone back to the double dosing.

Considering tomorrow isn't Monday, and it isn't the Monday after a long absence from work, it's got to be better right? I'm hoping for better health, more focus, more talent, more efficiency, and better assimilation in the real world tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2012

One Thing At A Time

I may be making progress. I feel like I may have made a step forward today to solve one of my big problems. Fingers crossed. At least this helps me feel like I'm working toward something. That was a big one.

I also worked my *ss off at the office today. It was a long, long day. But it was Monday and Mondays are like that. Tomorrow will be better. I've got a lot to squeeze into this short work week!

I also accomplished a lot around the house despite having an individual session with my director this evening. Also productive. I feel like the memorization and dialect work is coming along nicely. So much so, I may just take next week off!

So my house is in order, I've prepared a few days of food, and I'm checking things off the list. Next up...bath for Peanut. There is so much that has to be done to prep for a vacation!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bringing The Outdoors Indoors

I finally found a place to hang that yellow thing. I found it at an antique store when looking for living room decorations, but couldn't find wall space for it. It's been living in my bedroom on a shelf and I've grown fond of it in there, but it didn't belong on the shelf.

As I was gazing at these old floral tiles my mother gave me, I realized they might  work with the other small decoration. And then two weeks later I decided to finally hang them on my wall. I'm thinking it works.


This little corner in my bedroom may have been the last expanse of free wall space in my house. But you never know where else I can squeeze something in! I did find a little spot in the dining room that needed a little something as well.

And really, these three new floral pieces go well with my impressionistic roses, the gigantic inky, floral painting across the room, and the three panels of blossoms over my bed. Even the pictures I have in my bedroom are outdoorsy. For some reason I've gathered all these natural elements in the room where I desire the most calm. Well done.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Deserve A Mojito

Ewey. Yucky. Grossness.

I've had enough for today. Now I need to drink to forget.

I had my very first run-in with maggots today. I don't even think I can put into words the absolute horror you experience when you realize what your eyes are seeing....on your kitchen counter....right next to the food you're preparing for dinner. Yuck. Yuck. YUCK!

Needless to say, that teensy bit of liquid in the crock pot was tossed down the sink, followed by running water down the sink for ... oh twenty minutes or so. Just to make sure all those buggers washed far, far away from my kitchen. Everything got a once over in the sterilization department and the dishwasher is running the rest of the sterilization as we speak. This is something I can never un-see. I will forever be changed.

As if that wasn't enough to give me nightmares, I headed outside to move the old filing cabinet from the back alley to the front yard for a large item pick up tomorrow. Luckily the four thousand pound pressed-board filing cabinet has weakened structurally in the months it has sat out in the alley. Moisture has swollen the boards and they were easy to pull apart with my hands. I toted one heavy piece at a time through the backyard to the street in front.

I picked up the last piece, the bottom drawer, and proceeded to shut the back gate. As I trudged back over the uneven ground I thought to myself I was blessed with the darkness so I couldn't see what I was holding in my hands. I set down the drawer to close the second gate and jumped back after laying my eyes on the most gigantic spider on the edge of the drawer I was just holding. (I'm not going to lie...I screamed. Loud. Right outside my neighbor's window).

I used a stick to fling the spider across the driveway and noticed a long, dark slug-like slug slinking up over the edge of the drawer. EEEEEEWWWWW! Again the stick was my savior, protecting me from the reality of a slug crawling up my arm. Flung into the night, I assume both intruders will be long gone by morning. They better be.

I took a quick glance for any more infestation near the top of the drawer, grabbed it quickly, and practically ran it the rest of the way up the driveway to the pile of other filing cabinet pieces and flung it down.

Yuckity, yuck, yuck, yuck! I feel like I need a bath. I'm all creepy crawly. Why on earth did I make wild rice soup tonight? I can't imagine the thought of what I will see when I have to close my eyes. Hence the mojito. I need to wash those visions right out of my mind. Now. And forever.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Turn! Turn! Turn!

So it turns out I'm going to survive.

I've been let down by people before. Lots actually. But for some reason this one just seems a little bit under the category of incomprehensible. But you'll have that. Life moves on. The fact that I'm able to put my thoughts into words to help put it behind me is actually a huge deal. It's part of the process and, believe it or not, on the upswing from the low point.

I think the approaching fall season is helping remind me that everything changes. New seasons breathe new life into me....especially fall. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming months and I'm going to focus on that. I've thrown open the windows and opened the door on possibilities where I had been cooped up in stagnant air. And the crisp, fresh air fills my lungs with purpose.

I'll be working on letting fall calm me with it's peace and reassurance that to everything, there is a season. And a time for every purpose, under heaven.

Thanks to The Byrds for your guidance.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Saddened

I may have lost faith.

I've always been someone who expects the world of others...and sees the greatest potential people have to offer. I think that is why I'm usually disappointed and let down. I just don't know how to look at the world with less expectation I guess.

But I'm closing this chapter and you never know what the next one will have to teach me. The transition is always the hardest part.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Learning To Let Go

Do normal people actually get to a point where they feel they have mastered this? So far I've found it to be a life-long miserable failure. An exercise in futility.

It of course doesn't help that given any situation, I will always make the wrong decision. Again... I feel like normal people learn to eventually choose wisely.

I've been feeling a lot lately like I belong in a home. Somewhere where people have to take care of me. I'm super special and I just feel like I need constant care. Someone to take care of all the adult responsibilities for me. Someone to decide what I should eat for dinner and what medications I should take.

I could paint. I haven't painted... I mean something other than walls...since I moved to Springfield. I could paint and basket weave and stay out of everyone's hair. Promise. I'd be real good. And I'd practice this letting go thing every day. Maybe I'd learn how to feel better.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vintage Decorating

One of my Mockingbird castmates had a brilliant idea. She suggested I find vintage fabric to turn into pillows for my new old sofa. I have never really considered this before, but it's right up my alley! I've been looking and looking for pillows for years and I never seem to find anything that is my style at a price I'm willing to pay. Why the hell are pillows so expensive?!?

So about two point two minutes later, my mind started churning with ideas. I squeaked in an hour at my local antique shop yesterday and stumbled upon this beautiful table cloth for $8.95! It is a heavy, textured fabric I figured would work perfectly for sofa pillows. I also thought it would be the perfect yellow to compliment my new sofa.

After comparing it at home, I was a little disappointed that it was much lighter and brighter than the sofa. Sitting on my new couch I noticed the plain white desk chair across the room. I've previously recovered the seat of this chair several times, so I knew it would be an easy project. And from across the room I thought the yellow would compliment the sofa without looking like it didn't match.

I was right! It looks great and gives a little pop of yellow on the other side of the room! And after a night to sleep on it, I came to terms with the fact that I could make pillows out of this fabric and keep looking for more to coordinate (and tie in the reds of the rest of my house). I could end up with a whole couch of pillows and then who cares if one is lighter yellow?
 

So I went shopping in my basement for old pillows that no longer match anything in my house. I found these lovely little button pillows. I removed the center buttons, measured out four circles, and cut out two strips for the edging. I put the right side of the fabric on the front and back and the reverse side out on the edging. I absolutely love it! I squished the pillows inside and hand stitched the small openings closed. I still can't decide  if I want to do buttons at all. I'm going to sleep on it for a day or two.

And here are my two new pillows with my one old one on the darker golden sofa. I could use a dozen more! I have three more square pillows and two more button pillows in the basement. The trick will be hunting down more fabric. I can't wait to tackle that challenge! Now this has got me thinking about new curtains too... What a productive project labor day!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Goodbye

The set has come down. Costumes tossed in the wash. Make-up cleaned and stowed away for next time. It's hard to believe a journey that began last February in a crowded church hallway has come to an end. I invested a lot of time in that hallway waiting for my ten minutes in the audition room. Once cast in To Kill A Mockingbird, I waited and waited for summer to come and rehearsals to begin!

The last month and a half I have gone through a lot personally and it was the show that was my shining beacon. At Wednesday's pick up rehearsal I was sick, sick, sick. Miserable. As the actors quickly ran through blocking and lines without the emotional commitment it takes to put on a show, things (as they usually do at a pick up rehearsal), turned goofy. It really makes sense if you think about it. It feels silly just going through the motions. I so wished I felt well enough to join in on the fun. And by the end of the night I was feeling considerably better.

After the last week and a half of seriously poor health and a pretty bad day today, I was hoping for the opportunity to pull off a stellar closing show. This evening I arrived at the theatre, having forgotten to take my medicine and feeling yucky, but I began the process of getting ready despite that. By the time my costume was on and makeup applied I was already feeling better. Waiting outside the back door of the indoor theatre moments before show time, I paused to reflect on how much theatre has a calming, healing effect on me. If only the rest of my life made as much sense!

I will never forget this time of my life and I'm glad To Kill A Mockingbird and the people of Maycomb are forever woven into it. It was such a special time and a great group of people to work with. I'll always look upon this tired old town we created at Theatre in the Park with fondness. Thank you all for helping me through. I miss it already!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Accomplishment

I love it when I finally solve a frustrating puzzle. I had one at work. I needed to come up with a tracking system that had several wild card components. It finally came together just after five today. I put in another hour of double checking my calculations and setting up reports and we're all set to track away.

Things usually come easily to me and when they don't I get frustrated, which inhibits productivity. Sometimes I just need to look at things with a fresh perspective. Sometimes I need to walk away and let my mind mull over the obstacles. I did all that today. I approached the puzzle in a completely different way than I had been and when I had one last snag, I took a short breather and the solution came to me.

I love it when it finally comes together!

Speaking of a breather, though, I had more pain today. It has been just under a week since excruciating pain sent me to the doctor, who gave me a vague nod towards stress as an instigator. I wouldn't say I'm better, but I haven't had that pain again until today. Yikes. I may actually need to follow up with a real doctor. Or get rid of said stress in my life.

At least I have one less project on my to-do list.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Springfield Opening

Life has been busy lately. With the car troubles, rental cars, and a host of health problems descending upon me during tech week I had my hands full. Then my family arrived in town and the pace picked up!

On Friday we all visited New Salem so everyone would know how to get to the theatre and the kids would get a chance to see it. Plus we got to explore every inch of the park. Hot, fun times. We topped off our Friday with a picnic lunch before departing.

Saturday we played at the park and visited the Illinois State Museum. The kids absolutely loved it. They wanted to go back the next day. We squeezed in a visit to Charlie Parkers Sunday before my sister's family took off. My dad facilitated the great couch swap of twenty-twelve..moving my big couch out, new couches in, and the old couch in two trips to a new home. One piece even had to be hoisted over the second floor balcony. Big stories to tell for years to come.


It was marvelous to have my sister's family and my parents in town. They both took turns seeing the play. And both nights were rain free--we didn't get rained out until Sunday. I've never done outdoor theatre before and I have really enjoyed it, but this whole process of throwing an entire show up in the air and having it land in a completely new location actually made me nervous! Me!

Everything went incredibly smoothly and we had beautiful rave revues. I have heard some really wonderful comments and I'm so humbled to be a part of something so great. I really would rather do theatre than just about anything else. I'm so happy to get the chance!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lonely Sunday

I woke early again today (I don't even recognize myself anymore). I made myself a breakfast from the freezer of country sausage, green peppers, and mushrooms. Sort of a scramble without the eggs. And coffee. Luckily I have a bag of super-tasty coffee in the house for my percolator.

After letting breakfast settle, I cracked open the old Saturn owner's manual to tackle this whole checking the transmission transaxle fluid chore. There was no dipstick. Usually I'm pretty good at finding dipsticks, but not so much under the hood. No dipstick to be seen.

Luckily I had several offers for help and before too long I had another pair of eyes searching for my dipstick. She could not find it either. So she used her brute strength to push my Vue out of the driveway, into the street. She followed me to the transaxle repair store and I dropped my baby off for an early morning service.

I convinced my escort to take me to the grocery store on our way home, so I even scored something to eat for the rest of the weekend. But I returned home alone. I keep looking out at the empty driveway. Sadness.

With my house in order, no where to go, nothing to buy, and no money to buy it with... I decided to keep myself occupied with cooking. I tried gluten free dinner rolls. Although I don't think they rose properly, they were still pretty damn tasty.

I found a round steak in the quick sale section of the meat department, so I finally tried a sesame beef stir fry recipe I pinned many moons ago. This was my first use of the coconut aminos (with garlic and ginger). Pretty much can't go wrong there. I ended up doubling the sauce and added arrowroot powder to thicken.

Meanwhile, I pulsed a whole head of cauliflower in my Ninja to create "rice" and microwaved it to a tender deliciousness. It was just a few days ago that I was drooling over a co-worker's Chinese food, so this treat was a long time coming. And the best news is that with no rice and no crap in it, I can breathe after dinner and don't feel all bloaty and yucky. Yay!

So now Peanut and I are watching movies. Really Peanut does his own thing and I talk to him from time to time. Sometimes he wakes up and looks at me. It turned out to be a fairly nice low key lonely Sunday.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What A Day

I started out at the park early with rehearsal under the hot, hot sun. I made it home, but couldn't back into the driveway. I thought perhaps a tire issue or something in the road. I swung around and pulled in face first. After exiting the car and a quick sweep around the vehicle, I didn't see any tire issues. I went inside to tackle the rest of my day.

After a few hours my house was in tip top shape. Almost all my clothes are clean, the rugs washed, the floors vacuumed and mopped, sinks cleaned, and dust dusted. I actually sat down to cross things off the list I made yesterday to realize I had already done everything on the list.

So I pulled out those shelves I've had sitting in the basement for well over a year and applied the first coat of varnish. They are so pretty and shiny and really remind me of the old wood work in my Wisconsin house. They are going to be fabulous. That is where my project day ended.

I thought I could run to the store to pick up a few staples....if I could back out of the driveway. Well, I could not. And when I got out of the car there was a burny type smell. After a google search, I headed back out to the car to get the owner's manual and look up how to check the transmission fluid. Is that the same as transaxle? Anyhow, you have to do this procedure with the engine running. Do you have any idea how much this thought freaks me out?

So that is just the beginning. What if I need a new transmission. AKA a new car? Where the hell is that money coming from? And then if I'm lucky enough to only need a little transmission fluid, how do I get it? Walk? I really want to give up today.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Home Fun

Well, no state fair for me. No complimentary concert tickets presented themselves and I sure as hell am not paying to get in. I'm a spoiled media person. I don't pay for that sort of thing. Let's be honest... I'm not paying for anything until payday.

So with a beautiful evening in front of me and a few brats defrosting from my freezer, the grill and my new patio table was calling my name. I prepared brats, sauerkraut, and some frozen veggies and enjoyed them at my new table in the backyard followed by a leisurely perusal of the Illinois Times.

After dinner I tackled a few cleaning projects quickly before my motivation faded. Then after sinking into my old sofa (I'm enjoying our last days together), I compiled a list for the rest of the weekend's cleaning and project extravaganza.

Tomorrow is going to start early with another morning rehearsal out at the park. (I'm going to take sun screen this time!) But that means I'll be up and motivated and ready to tackle life when I get home. I've got to whip this house into shape before the craziness of tech week is upon me. I can do it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vacation

I'm looking forward to a little vacation from rehearsal tomorrow night. This weekend is my last one with a little time off for awhile. I still have a morning rehearsal, but I found out I don't have a tech on Sunday. That means any of those state fair concerts over the weekend would fit right into my schedule if the opportunity presents itself.

Next week is going to be crazy with tech week and my family coming in from Wisconsin to occupy my non-theatre time. I'm so looking forward to seeing them, though. And my new couch. Did I mention that new couch is on the way? I was hoping to have the money to actually pay for it by the time it is delivered, but there is always some sort of financial emergency that keeps me from reaching a financial adulthood.

You ever want to just give up? I keep thinking if the Mayans were right, it's been one hell of a crazy last year. (Is it wrong to hope for the end of the world?) Maybe I just need a little vacation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wine-O

I had another really long day. How can everyday blah ditty blah be so hard to deal with? It isn't like I'm an air traffic controller for cryin' out loud. I work on Word documents, make copies, organize things, make things pretty. Seriously... I'm a slacker. But I usually slack the shit out of my day.

But as the day dragged on, my mood limbo-ed lower than I would expect. By rehearsal out at the park, I was practically useless. I stumbled over my lines and didn't have the concentration to develop my character in the least. Luckily we still have a week and a half left to work on that. I'll get there. I promise...you can feel confident in those ticket purchases!

On the way home following the token speed-limit driver from Petersburg (I swear to god... every damn night!), then following the below-the-speed-limit drivers on Veterans (I swear to god... every time I try to go anywhere!), I was considering what and how much I should drink when I got home.

Due to a nearly empty fridge, I couldn't be too picky. I pulled out a leftover bottle of wine from my Southern Illinois Wine Tour. You may wonder why I have a bottle of wine in the house as I have a hard time collecting wine without drinking it. Well, it's white. And the other day when I cracked open the bottle to compliment a lovely chicken and veggie pasta alfredo I was disappointed. So, it's been open a few days, but apparently it has mellowed (or I've reached a new wine low). It is completely drinkable and it sure is doing the trick.

I'm much less crabby. I'm much less concerned about being sad. And I'm much closer to lights out. Let's do this.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blue Bayou

I've been blue. Feeling low on several fronts and looking for that toe hold in the burger industry I've heard so much about.

I need an extra Peanut hug and I'm counting down the days for my Wisconsin visitors heading this way for the big  play. I just love how your family has to care about you. I'm lucky to have them!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beautiful Weekend

I started my weekend early. I had rehearsal Saturday morning, so it motivated me to get up and get moving. I tried my hand at a coconut flour english muffin recipe. Which turned out just fine enough to share the plate with my eggs and later in the day delivered a good opportunity for a sandwich (which I haven't had in forever). However, when I think english muffin, I do not think garlic and cheese. I would like to find a gluten free english muffin recipe that would be perfect toasted and topped with almond butter. Now that would be divine.

Rehearsal went swimmingly under the hot, hot sun. Thank goodness for the breeze! Next Saturday I'll have to remember to bring sunscreen! The show is really coming along, though. I'm looking forward to putting it all together.

As I headed back into town, I passed the Restore and remembered my quest for a new patio table. I had to pop in. There were no tables. So I continued on my way to a rummage sale. Also no tables. By this point I was feeling fancy and had a little Illinois Adventure spirit under my skin. I hit the open road south to an antique store I have frequented a few times. As a matter of fact, I was thinking I have found quite a few treasures each time I've gone there. 

I always think of something to look for. You kind of have to in an antique store. It gives you the power to skim and not get bogged down with all the stuff! So I decided to look for golden yellow accessories to go with my new goldenrod sofa which is heading this way in a matter of no time. I saw several lovely yellow bowls. But because I couldn't figure out what to put in them or use them for, I passed them by. I don't need more stuff for the sake of stuff. I need things that also serve a function.

So, why I ask you, did I purchase the small yellow block wall art? It didn't fit into my plan. I have no available wall real estate in my home. I got home and tried it out in place of several things and it doesn't work. I love it, but I have nowhere to put it. Luckily it was only two dollars, but still. I've got to remember to stick to the plan! I cannot buy something for my home unless I know what I'm going to use it for and know where it is going to go. 

But luckily, with my eyes open for yellow, I happened to notice this beauty...
It was halfway covered with things, but it had a price tag on it. (That means it's for sale!) I had a place for this (as you can see). It wasn't what I had in mind. I thought I would be buying a table to refurbish for outdoor use. And this was actually designed to be a patio table. Go figure, right? Well, it's right down my cup of tea anyhow. Now I've got to find chairs and an umbrella. Maybe a good end of season sale is in my future!

I completed my Saturday with beautifying the yard (for the background in the picture). I cleaned up the yard, trimmed all the hedges (and my electrical cord...again), raked, and mowed. I never knew brown grass could look so tip top. I can't wait to have my own private cookout in my brand new backyard space.

After a much less active Sunday and a little pool time, I'm almost recharged and ready for a new week. Wish me luck holding onto that feeling.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Beautiful Night, Everyone's Polite

I began my morning by attempting to get my press pass from the state fair. I quickly gave up when I saw the gate I knew to get me close to the media office locked up. See I had gotten lost in the state fair on Tuesday morning when I had planned to get my press pass. After I finally found the damn office, their computer was down and they sent me packing. I found the quickest way out and made a mental note of how to get back in. A lot of good that did me this morning with the locked gate.

So a little later in the day... actually very late in the afternoon as my lunch was severely delayed. My blood sugar was low low low. I hit up the closest food source for a chicken salad that I practically inhaled. And as my brain began to function again, I remembered I had to pick up a few things. It occurred to me I could drop them at home then try the impenetrable state fair again.

More frustration. Needless to say I did not get my press pass. It may be that I won't be state fairing this year. We will see about that. So with my state fair frustration level at an all time high, I fought the out-of-town traffic all the way home. I stepped on the gas a little each time I saw a stupid fair goer trying to cross the street in front of me. Didn't they know I just wanted to get home? I even cursed out an emergency vehicle after I had pulled off the road and it turned off the sirens and turned down a side street.

I obviously needed a little down time. I opened all the windows wide and let the glorious breeze sweep through the house. I heated up my leftover grilled brat (almost like eating fair food) and Peanut and I enjoyed a little porch time. It would have been absolutely perfect if it weren't for all the damn pedestrian and auto traffic on my street due to the damn fair.

A walk in the park. That is just what I needed. I locked up the house and put Peanut down for a nap and headed out the back door towards the park. It's been awhile since I've enjoyed a walk in the park. It has really dried up since then! It was a long walk in the park. Meaning that I was so slow. Similar to the feeling of walking through water. But I really enjoyed the lovely weather and a little time out in nature. Even if I could still hear the damn state fair noise.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back On Track

I've been eating junk. And a lot of it. I don't know if I can pull off a Whole30 during the fair and back to back shows, but I'm ready to get back on track.

I feel like a few days of clean eating maybe enough to get me to cut out the crap and amp up the nutrient value. I think I really need it! I'm going to need all the energy I can get heading into the final weeks of rehearsal.

I've also discovered recently that something other than gluten is giving me gluteny side effects and I think it's rice. I have been purchasing much more of the pre-packaged gluten free items and most of them contain rice flour. I need to cut that out to find out if my airways clear up. I miss the joy of being able to breathe.

I've got to pull this derailed train back on the tracks! Wish me luck. Oh and happy state fair to all!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Magical Almost Story

On my way home from rehearsal tonight I had this wonderful story playing in my head about the magical first rehearsal under the stars.

Now it's all gone. And that, my folks, is why I haven't been blogging.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Swingin'

It was a really long week getting back in the swing of the real world. Monday morning started early for me and with the first rehearsal for To Kill A Mockingbird, it was a late night too. Luckily work was slow enough to allow me to get caught up quickly and had enough wiggle room to get my brain back into worker bee mode.

And at five o'clock on Friday I was done with work for the week! That hasn't happened in awhile. I hit up the grocery store for a few things so I could prepare parmesan chicken nuggets. I had been thinking about them all day and they were so exactly what I needed. Delightfully delicious!

The highlight of my relaxing weekend back home again would have to be finally visiting the drive in theatre. There was a Batman movie out recently and it was showing with Spiderman.

Batman was long and slow and long and tense and slow. It was okay, but when it ended after eleven I thought I should head home to Peanut. I was convinced to stay for Spiderman and was so glad I did. It was much better than Batman with a faster pace and...humor! How novel!

By the time I rolled out of there it was late, late, late and I was very tired. It reminded me of my youth visiting the drive in theatre where I mostly just slept in the back of the station wagon. I need a station wagon!
All in all, a fantastically relaxing weekend. I'm almost ready to get back in the swing of a new work week and week two of rehearsals. All I could use is a little pool time!



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Put Put Put...

I think I've run out of vacation steam. Yesterday I just hung around the house until it was time for Friday Fish with the fam. Then I jetted on down to the Catfishestival for a little quality friend time.

I may have over indulged. Not so much on friends, but on cocktails. I missed the breakfast this morning and was in pretty rough shape until... Well I'll let you know when I'm back at 100%.

In the meantime I'm trying to muster the motivation to get ready for a nice dinner out. I may be ready for this vacation to come to an end tomorrow. I'm so worn out!

I am really looking forward to heading back down south. I miss my Illinois folks and could use a relaxing weekend by the pool and a little catching up time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm Giddy!

I wanted to take a moment to browse the antique mall in La Crosse before my planned swimming afternoon with the nieces.

I was lured in by the kidney bean coffee table in the front window, but it was the back of the basement where I stumbled upon this beauty!

It's one section of two. And much more golden yellow than it appears in this photo. It really reminds me of my childhood golden yellow sofa. I think it will look absolutely fabulous with my grey walls.
And I've been wanting one for years, so I recently have been keeping my eyes open for a smaller sofa. My current sofa beast only likes to be arranged one way. And I am a rearranging kinda girl!
I can hardly wait to see all the possibilities with these two little lovelies! I'm super giddy!

I balanced out my antique furniture purchasing high with more kiddo time at my sister's. They sure can wear a girl out! It was a lovely dinner and afternoon, though.

Now I've got to keep my giddy glow for another six weeks until the sofa is delivered back to Springfield!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vacation: Day 4

I had nothing planned for today, so I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in. Yesterday's pool afternoon, wine, and cheese really wore me out! Vacationing is tough business!

The spark of motivation to get me going this morning was a walk in Perot Park. It wouldn't be a Trempealeau vacation without one woodsy adventure! Usually I stay at a friend's right off the river, so it takes me a good twenty minutes just to get to the park. This year I'm at the folks' out of town ranch, so I drove to the park.

That allowed me to walk farther into the park than I usually do. When I surfaced from the riverfront I was crazy close to my favorite spot in the park, so I pressed on. I was so glad I did. The only thing that would have made it better would be a sunset over my favorite spot in the park. Maybe tomorrow!
After recovering from the hike, I was off to see the shopping sites of La Crosse and meet my folks for pizza. They agreed to try someplace new so I could get a gluten free pizza. It was a delightful margarita pizza. The atmosphere was lovely and I'd love to return to sample more of their gluten free pizza options.

I'm still living it up in Wisconsin!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Possibilities Are Endless

I've hit the vacation ground running!

After the long drive, I kicked up my heels for a spell and enjoyed a GF zucchini lasagna. I think I'm moving that dish back into rotation. It was delish just substituting zucchini for the noodles. Yum!

Then my parents and I rushed out the door to cut lose with a little Footloose on the summer stage. I had no idea all those songs were from Footloose. I enjoyed the trip down 80's memory lane, but I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be set in the 80's. Random costumes! It was a nice night out with the folks, though.

Next thing I knew, my vacation fairy dust sprinkled me downtown La Crosse in Riverside park for a little wine and Trunk Monkey action. The set list took me back to the garage band days of my youth.
Blondy and I had a lovely time chatting it up and decided to continue the conversation at a few of my favorite downtown establishments. Johns Bar offered cold Woodchuck cider, but it was the pear cider that jumped off the Bodega's menu at me. I'm not going to lie... I had a couple.

And this morning I wake up to this lovely reminder on Blondy's guest room wall. Good morning! I'm ready for all the possibilities of Vacation, Day 2!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Adventure!

On Sunday the road to adventure took me south. I couldn't pass up stopping by this antique mall when I saw the welcoming figure in his under clothes. And an ice cream cone. Nothing quite says "come on in" like a giant boy in his shorts.
It was an interesting antique mall as it appeared to be a former high school. Crazy town. I did find another 1970/71 Lefton piece, so I feel as though the stop was meant to be!
The adventure trail lead right down to this fancy old bridge.
 And this little boat run ashore.
 And then there was the arch.What possessed me to agree to such shenanigans? I feel as though last I checked I was still afraid of heights, elevators, small spaces, and boys locker rooms. And yet when asked, it was "okay" that came out of my mouth.
The 7:35  tour was actually the time the waiting began. It was A LOT of waiting. Wait in the ticket line. Wait in the dungeon line. Wait for a boarding pass. Wait for the tram. All that waiting was eating away at my nerves!

But somehow I made it to the top of the arch. I emerged into the tiny, hot little viewing room and was greeted with the pungent aroma of a whole 90+ degree day's worth of body odor. Delightful!
I peered out the little windows in either direction and it only made me a little dizzy leaning out. It felt in my head like I was actually leaning out of a window from up there. Holy Hannah will that make a girl dizzy!

After making it safely back to below ground level and climbing back out from underneath the stance of the giant arch the sun had set. A practically full moon reflected glimmery light across the arch. Practically magical.

After a late dinner at a nearby eatery the road was beckoning for home. It was a late, late night, but worth every moment!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sun Sets

The sun has set on another event. It was a hot, hot, hot Rock the Dock this year! I was extraordinarily relieved when that ball of fire sunk below the horizon.

I actually did pretty well in the heat. I get sun sick and migraines really easily due to a sun sick bout when I was young. The whole day is really about fighting it back while trying to get the job done.

Hearing that coconut water is supposed to be good for hangovers, I figured it is probably good for hydration. I purchased four bottles and drank them in between bottles of water. I even had a fruit smoothie drink for extra nutrients.

My head was pulsing waves of pain on and off all day, but I only felt nauseated once. My lunchtime break nap and shower really got me back on my feet and ready to tackle the more intensive set up portion of the day.

As the gates opened and people began enjoying all the work we had put in, things only got better. The children seemed to really enjoy the mister and of course the giant slide. They can't get enough turns on the giant slide!

I ran bottles of water to the workers, breaking between each run to hydrate more myself. After the carnival was torn down and the good folks of Springfield were settling in for the massive fireworks display over Lake Springfield, I settled in with a Crispin.

That's right...our go-to beer distributor just started carrying Crispin! What more could a gluten-free girl need at the end of the night than an ice cold bottle of cider? I was feeling so excited that I wasn't sick, I may have had two!

So with a few hours in the office yesterday, the car is unloaded and most of my regular Friday business has been taken care of. With a few more hours today, I hope to complete a project I just haven't had time to do. There's no such thing as an overtime-free event week! Hopefully with the sun set today, everything will be back to normal.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Tale of Mystery And Intrigue

So my horoscope from tarot.com today was: Something unusual at work might give you the creeps today, as if you somehow walked on to the set of a bad science fiction movie. Thankfully, you're not frightened, since you don't sense any real danger, but you probably won't get much work done, either. Before you begin your regular tasks, you may need to investigate to see if you can uncover the source of the mystery. Enjoy playing detective without expecting anything fruitful to come of it right away. 


So intriguing! How do they know?


It was early afternoon today when that something unusual occurred. The mail was delivered by our normal mail carrier and was being dispersed by our regular front desk ladies...until one envelope caught the eye as it leaked a powdery white substance.  The question is, what would you do?


My employers played the safe card and treated it according to worse case scenario. Before I knew anything was amiss, I heard the air conditioning powered down, leaving a deafening silence to a practically vacant building. I finished what I was working on and got up to check out the situation. Most everyone was hanging in our front parking lot. Where was I for the evac notice?!? The doors to the mail room were closed to contain whatever the worst case scenario possibilities may be.


I could see several police vehicles and uniformed officers. It was about time I joined the anthrax party outdoors! What was that clingy, chalky feeling in my nose and throat? Paranoia? Perhaps. But I concluded fresh air may be the answer. My co-workers were cavorting with officers, planted on the grassy hillside, and tossing around a ball in the parking lot. All we needed were a few cold beverages and it would practically have been just another company outing.
Photo by Me.
It wasn't too long before the fire truck was rolling in and word of news trucks down the drive started filtering into our quarantine. After much seemingly standing-around-ness, these were the first two hazmat folks to penetrate the deserted  halls of the office to seek out that infamous envelope which had been neatly sealed inside a Ziploc bag and dropped like a hot potato in the mass exodus.

Photo by R. Hall.
They returned with good news, but the wait was still on. I think the hazmat folks were having a high old time in Riverton this afternoon and didn't want to call it quits too quickly. They sent the second wave of hazmat in disguised as the Ghost Busters just to throw off the news cameras watching through the trees. Nice boots boys!
Photo by W. Connelly.
Two waves and over two hours was all it took to determine that the mysterious envelope contained promotional match books. NOTE: matches will be crushed when fed through a mail sorter and the envelope will be damaged. And this may be the quickest and easiest way to shut down an office for an afternoon.

It was nearly five thirty by the time we were cleared to reenter the building. Just in time to shut everything down for the day. I high tailed it home to share my amazing story with Peanut. And I waved to the line of service folks up our drive and the news camera across the street. You will not take us today anthrax! (Cough, cough)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Big Fun Times!

I've been too busy having fun this week to blog!

I had a training out of town on Wednesday, followed by a mini Illinois Adventure to try out Obed & Isaac's finally. That's been on my adventure list for quite some time and I'm glad I finally made it there. They had a cider on tap for me and my companions enjoyed the stout and a dirty blonde, I believe. We all had several, so they must be pretty drinkable.

My companions also enjoyed a dip appetizer that looked good, but I didn't see anything I felt would be gluten free and safe. If I had been there for a meal, there would have been options for me, so maybe I'll need to revisit this adventure!

Thursday I welcomed a friend into her new apartment by graciously drinking there. It was a hot evening in the third floor walk up, but I had a great time. I threw together some tomato poppers and picked up a box of cheddar gluten-free nut crackers so I knew I'd have something to munch on. And my party companion purchased Crispin...a refreshingly light choice that hot evening...for a non-beer drinker. It was a great evening!

After a long day finishing off this crazy pre-event week, we began a (hopefully) new tradition of happy hour pool party! I slipped into my little black cocktail dress swim suit, packed up some snacks and sweet tea vodka, and headed to the pool to catch the last rays of the week.

We enjoyed cocktails and pool time until the sun went down and then we just kept hanging in there. We discovered the pool was even warmer in the cooler night air and so we took advantage of as much of the night as possible. It was a great...late...night.

Saturday was the planned pool day, so after sacking in and making a bountiful breakfast of eggs, bacon, and banana pancakes, I was packing my swim bag again! I knew I'd need to wait at least an hour after that meal before swimming, so I started out slowly with an Alto Vineyard Traminette spritzer. It was light and refreshing for a pool day.

After a cooler night and a clouded sky, the pool wasn't nearly as warm as the evening before, so a lot of time wasn't spent in it. I enjoyed the company and the relaxing afternoon, though. I even got another gluten free Godfather's pizza delivered directly pool side! How lucky am I?

I decided I needed to head home to my couch after that before I passed out in my lounger! And I made it just in the nick of time. I took a long couch nap before packing it in and heading to bed about ten o'clock!

I've had a crazy fun week! Today I really should get the house in order because I have another Illinois Adventure waiting for me this evening in Bloomington. I'm revisiting my college days with a little WWE. I'm sure I'll have more on that later!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

I finally went out to eat for a fancy restaurant gluten free pizza!

For the first gluten free taste testing Illinois Adventure, I selected Godfather's pizza. The gentleman behind the counter really sold me when he said it wasn't that great and that it was a frozen pizza.

Considering I was standing in the restaurant and my only other option would probably be the salad bar, I decided I would try it out anyhow. Pepperoni.

It actually really hit the pizza spot. I have a special place in my heart for pizza and this was pretty close to a normal pizza. I've tried out recipes for flax meal crusts and almond flour crusts at home, but nothing has been quite like this. I'm guessing it had a whole heap of potato and rice flours. I firmly believe they hold the magical deliciousness of gluten free baked goods.

I rounded out my Illinois Adventure evening with a tour of quiet out-of-the-way Springfield bars. Not too hard to find on a Monday night, but still a fabulously good time! I always love trying something new.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thanks!

My mom and dad traveled down to Springfield to watch my dog so I could getaway for a wine tour weekend. How lucky are we?

My mom found this lovely bunch of dried flowers for my porch. It is absolutely perfect! They also stocked me up and mowed my lawn while I was gone!

I returned from my getaway weekend to beef roast in the crock pot, an evening of theatre at the Muni, and popcorn at home. What a lovely way to spend fathers day!

Today we hit up the Charlie Parkers, but of course, and swung by the Farmers Market to browse the plant selection.

I ended up with a whole bunch of little things to add to my garden space and mom found a beautiful garden accent to take home.

I've sent them on their way north and I'm kicking up my feet for a little vacation time in my extended weekend before the afternoon sun lets up and I can get those plants in.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tickety Tick Tick Tock

Times a ticking away until the wine tour weekend! I was not as productive tonight as I had hoped. I did manage to pick up Peanut's food and throw a few things in a bag.

How much can one girl need on a two night stay a few hours from home? Hopefully just what I remembered to pack!

I even made an advance call to the B&B today to warn them of my gluten allergy. Look at me go learning the ropes! I just wish I didn't feel bad telling them I also have seafood allergies and dairy intolerance. I figure I can avoid those for breakfast right? I'm a hot mess of food allergies!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm Too Excited To Sleep!

It's getting to be a regular thing for me to stay up too late and get out of bed too late. I feel old admitting I miss the days when I hit the hay before 930. I just don't remember how I ever accomplished that. It seems I can find plenty to do to keep myself busy until the wee hours.
So even today when I was super exhausted by about 10am, here I am still awake and blogging just for the heck of it!
I'm heading out of town this weekend with a bunch of girls on a wine touring exploration. It isn't every day I can skip out of town on my little Peanut, so this is a pretty big deal. My folks are heading south to keep the pooch company all weekend and I'm free as a drunken bird!
I've got so much to wrap up in the next two days, but it will be sooo worth the little getaway. I'm practically too excited to sleep. Practically. As my little heavy eye lids flutter closed...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sun And Surf

I woke early this Saturday morning. It's the first Saturday in quite awhile, let me tell you. I was out and about sipping my coffee before nine! My weekend alarm was going off as I headed south.

I ventured into a completely new section of town to help a former co-worker move. Apart from the fact that the new apartment is on the third floor of a building without an elevator, it is quite lovely.

Thankfully they fed us lunch before we left, because I was out of steam for sure! Then we breezed through the grocery store for a little liquor and by early afternoon we were camped out by the pool.

The pool was cold and the sun was hot and those tired legs quickly became a distant memory. Some of the pool goers were making waves with canon balls and flippy dives. I merely road the waves on my floaty noodle.

It was an absolutely glorious afternoon. My skin is rosy with the afterglow of too much fun in the sun! But well worth it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lovely, Lovely, And More Lovely!

This whole retro disguised filing cabinet is really taking shape! Today I received my new file boxes from The Container Store (my new favorite thing in the entire universe). It's probably a good thing the delivery guy didn't know I got that excited about filing boxes.

Shortly after, I was en route to my house for a lunch break and to unwrap my goodies. Even though I measured everything carefully and spent a lot of time looking for the best boxes to utilize as much of the interior space as possible, I just had to get them into the cabinet to make sure they would fit.

And voila! Practically perfect.

I'm really excited to get the files out of grocery bags in my closet and get everything back in tip top shape...but obviously not excited enough to get it done today. After a slightly extended work day, I headed straight for my back yard. It was just too beautiful outside!

The yard got cleaned up, the grass mowed, and the plants (and my pants) watered before the sun sunk down. I really need some lounge furniture in my back yard to enjoy it! I've got this beyond brilliant idea to remedy that with regular visits to the Restore. I'm obviously good at falling in love with reasonably priced old school gems (Did I mention the filing boxes cost about $52 MORE than the cabinet?!?). I have high hopes for a dining table ready for an outdoor makeover.

So the filing is slotted for another day. I feel as though there is going to be a lot of editing in the refiling process. I probably should get a good night's sleep to be fully energized for the challenge!

To be continued...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Steak And Mushroom Gravy

I'm not sure I ever posted the recipe for the Christmas Eve Steak. I have since removed all traces of gluten from the recipe and so it needs to be reposted anyhow!

This is the tastiest gravy for steak. I just enjoyed it tonight with cube steak. This is a lonely girl serving.

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 oz sliced mushrooms (or as many as I have on hand!)
1 clove garlic, pressed

1 steak of your choice
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp arrowroot powder
1/4 C beef broth
1/8 C red wine (or I found 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar as an excellent substitute when I was Whole30)
dash of salt and pepper to taste

1. Turn oven on to warm.
2. In a skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
3. Add mushrooms and garlic and saute until browned. Remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile, season steak with garlic salt and pepper.
5. Heat olive oil in pan still over medium heat. Cook steak 5-6 minutes per side or almost to desired doneness is achieved (I'm a well done girl and it will continue to cook as you finish the gravy).
6. Place steak in warm oven.
7. Add arrowroot powder to pan. Mix with oil until slightly browned.
8. Gradually add broth and whisk until smooth.
9. Add wine. Salt & pepper to taste.
10. Return mushrooms to sauce and heat through.
11. Remove steak from oven and top with mushroom gravy.

Good enough for Christmas Eve Dinner or a Monday night cube steak. Yum!

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