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Archive for October, 2011

Testing…

I am trying to post via e-mail by phone. If you’re reading this, my mission has been accomplished.

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Here’s a thought:

In the 1970s, there was a popular TV show called Happy Days, about the 1950s.

Then, in the late 1990s, there was That 70’s Show– another popular TV show set 2 decades in the past.

Thus, by my calculations… we are due for sitcom about the 90’s sometime this decade.

AWESOME.

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Staying optimistic.

We’ve been thrown an unexpected … curveball … recently.

No, I’m not pregnant. This is not a post about surprise pregnancy.

Everything was fine. Our life had fallen into a pleasant, peaceful routine; which we were looking to shake up by buying and moving to a nearby condo. dfszzseeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzze*

Things have been shaken up, all right, but not the way we wanted. I won’t go into detail about it (not now, anyway), but I can tell you this: I know it’s nothing we can’t handle. We’ll get through it fine, but we’ll have to make some changes to our life. Changes that will not be easy or fun, but isn’t that how life goes?

I’m keeping optimistic– if nothing, else, for my husband. This has been a hell of a week for him (and it’s Wednesday); he’s feeling a lot of stress and a lot of pressure. I say prayers for him and try to be as supportive (and non-irritating) as possible. And I keep saying “It’ll be okay in the end.”

* That’s a bit of input from my cat, who was trying to walk on my keyboard while I was typing.

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A Place to Call Home

Remember last week, when I said I had “some pretty big news”  and promised to elaborate in another post, but then I left you hanging?

Anyway, here’s the news: we’re moving. And not to another rented apartment either– we’re buying a place to call our own.

If all goes well, we close on Friday.

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… that’s been heavy on on our minds lately. We’ve got a lot of work– and a lot of money-crunching– ahead of us. My husband– my protector and guide– has been so strong and savvy through this process. He’s a businessman; he’s good at dealing with people and he can detect bullshit from the blink of an eye. I’m so grateful for him.

Anyway! About the place:

It’s a condo, literally right across the street from where we live now. We’re still on the water (on the same side of the creek, even), and there are boat slips so we can keep our two boats right in the water. It comes furnished (!), there’s a nice big porch for our container garden, and we’re right above the pool. There’s no fitness center (sad, because I’ve become very accustomed to having a free gym at my disposal), but that seems to be the only non-perfect thing about the place. We love it; we want to live in it and make it ours. All we can do now is wait, pray, and fill out every piece of paperwork they send us.

I’ll give you more details later on…I’ve got a meeting for church in a few minutes.

In the meantime: This seems like a nice view to have from your porch, doesn’t it?

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Thoughts on Dance

For years, my life centered around dance.

As a teen, I was obsessed with becoming a professional  dancer by the time I graduated high school and took dance VERY seriously. I didn’t really understand people who took dance “just for fun.” Then I started teaching ballet at 17, got my first apprenticeship six months later (during my senior year of high school), and boom, I was off and running. For six years I kept a roof over my head by dancing in professional companies, teaching ballet classes, and choreographing dances. At 24, I got burned out and quit.

 

I treat dance a lot differently now. I go to class for a few hours in the evening, get a workout, and go home. I don’t feel the pressure that I did taking classes as a working dancer. I’m finding the fun in it.

The fourteen-year-old me would be shocked.

Yes, I would like to audition for some professional shows in the winter or springtime. And if I get cast in a show, that’s great! I did a show last spring, and it was a great experience. But if I don’t make the cut, that’s fine, too. It won’t be the end of the world.

Fourteen-year-old me is seriously starting to judge me.

Anyway, despite years or being a super die-hard ballet snob, ballet was the discipline that I REALLY burned out on (due to circumstances that deserve a whooooooooooole ‘nother post to describe). I was away from dance for a year, and when I started to come back I found myself enjoying contemporary and modern styles more. Over the summer I started taking tap, and now I’m taking jazz and hip-hop, too (but still one ballet class per week. Ballet is the basis for your technique, after all!). I even joined the hip-hop performance group! I started learning the routine last night, and I’m having a blast. It’s a challenge for me to move that way (being classically trained as all get-out), but it’s a learning experience and I’m enjoying.

I think my teenage self just disowned me.

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I was flipping through my recipe cards on Sunday afternoon and came across a recipe for a spinach and stewed-tomato soup. While I love me a good tomato soup— and it was certainly “soup weather,” given that it stormed all day– the rest of the recipe didn’t appeal to me very much (a major ingredient was meatballs. Ick).

I took the basic idea of a spinach/stewed tomato soup and altered it to suit our culinary tastes…and Hubs just happened to be smoking one of his redfish at the time. The result was our Sunday dinner. And Monday dinner. And my Tuesday lunch (it makes seven servings).

In other words, it’s delicious. Here you go!

Smoked-Vegetable Soup with Spinach and Tomatoes

1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow or vidalia onion
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 15-oz an stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 9-oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained completely

1. In a small bowl, gently toss carrot, celery, onion, and grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper* until all vegetables are coated. Slice grape tomatoes in half.
*…and any other seasonings you might want. I also used dried thyme and a little garlic powder for mine.

2. Prepare 2 small foil trays. Place he carrot, celery, onion and garlic in one tray and the sliced grape tomatoes in the other.

3. Place trays in smoker. The amount of time will vary depending on your smoker and how much smoke flavor you want, but the tomatoes tend to cook faster then the other vegtables.

4. When vegetables reach your desired temperature/flavor, remove them from the smoker. Chop the carrot, celery, garlic cloves and onion half once they are cool enough to handle.

5. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes (stirring occasionally).

6. Eat.

7. Enjoy.

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Oh, hi. Remember me?

Wow. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

We had a very quiet summer once wesettled down from the wedding and honeymoon. It was one million degrees out; we either stayed busy inside the air conditioning or went swimming. We went out on our boat several times, and read a small bookstore’s worth of books.

Summer ended. The fishing here is GREAT during the fall; so Hubs started fishing every day. He catches mostly speckled trout and the occasional redfish– not to mention all the shrimp a man could want. I rarely need to *buy* meat for his meals because our fridge and freezer are full of his catches. Best of all, fishing makes the man happy and unwinds him after a stressful day.

As for me? I found a nice little dance studio five miutes from our home and started dancing there three evenings a week. The classes are small so the instructors offer lots of individual attention, which is very helpful. I’m really happy that I can dance and NOT have to drive 45 minutes into the city! I can leave my place 15 minutes before class, have time to stretch, and still be home in time to get dinner on the table. Hooray!

Yesterday I drove downtown and did a photo shoot. I’ve modeled for this photographer since I first moved to Texas five years ago, and we work really well together. He describes what he wants, and I just *go.* It’s a bit hard to describe why it’s so much fun for me–it’s a bit like dancing, because there’s a lot of movement a line a spaitial awareness…and it’s a bit like performing, too, because the camera is your audience and you’re the only performer.
Anyway. It was a lot of fun, and I’ll get a CD of them eventually.

The most exciting news of the day? It’s been raining like mad. Not those little one-hour thunderstorms we occasionally saw during the summer months, but an honest-to-God, started-last-night, thunder-and-lightning DOWNPOUR. Thank you Jesus, our prayers have been answered.

We have some pretty big news, but that’s a post for another time. For now, here’s a picture from yesterday:

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