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My Nephew Can Act, After All

Okay, it’s not as if I doubted the kid could act, especially since I talked to the director of the musical he’s in weeks ago and she told me how happy she was with him, but tonight was the first time I was able to see it for myself.

I hinted a few days ago about the fact that one of my nephews is currently living with me. The whys and wherefores aren’t terribly important at this point, but indeed, my 17-year-old nephew (I’ll call him D here) is here for his senior year. To say it’s been an interesting experience so far would be an understatement. I know a lot of is just what teenagers are like, and I vaguely recall being a teenager once myself, but I was so unprepared.

But we’re doing okay, and I credit in part his participation in drama. D has expressed interest in going to college for theater, and D’s high school has an excellent drama program, so it was kind of a no-brainer to let him participate in the fall musical (and hopefully the rest of the productions this year). The auditions were right after school started, and D was able to get the part of Maurice (Belle’s father) in Beauty and the Beast. He’s had rehearsal pretty much every school day since.

But tonight was opening night (it runs through Sunday), and all that rehearsal time seems to have paid off. The show was a lot of fun, and I found out for sure that the kid can act.

Making Soup

I’m pretty sure I’ve said before that I’m not really a cook. I prepare food for meals, but make things from scratch that’s more than frying fish or making a grilled cheese sandwich? It doesn’t happen often. But a few weeks ago I came across a soup recipe that not only sounded tasty, but easy enough even for me to make.

Naturally, the next time I was somewhere to buy groceries, I hadn’t put the soup ingredients on my list. I actually remembered everything, though, except that it needed three, not just two, cans of black beans. And for the life of me I couldn’t find chile paste at that store. Eventually I picked up the third can and tracked down the chile paste, but I still needed to wash the blender that had been in storage for about eleven years. Lately I’ve been lucky to remember to run the dishwasher, let alone keep up with the rest of the dishes, but on Saturday I had a little time to myself and finally got the blender ready.

Yesterday’s schedule ended up being a little crazier than planned, including that I had to buy new chicken stock because I drank what I had on hand earlier in the week when I was sick. But as soon as I got home at about 5:00 PM, I started in on the soup. Less than an hour later my nephew and I were happily eating it.

I wish I had had cooking spray (I just assumed I had some, but since I mostly use stoneware or nonstick pans for baking, I guess I haven’t needed it) because I’m pretty sure the dutch oven is going to be a chore to clean, and when I make it again I’ll probably double the corn, but otherwise, it was a rare cooking success.


Note: I’m going to attempt to participate in NaBloPoMo and NaKnitMo (Ravelry link) again this year. Neither worked out great last year, but I was in the middle of buying and settling into a new home, so I can’t be any busier this year than that, right? Oh, right. The nephew living with me. But that story will have to wait for another blog post.

Feeling Domestic

I am not a cook. I’ve enjoyed baking for a really long time, but cooking food for meals is a different thing, and not something I’ve done much of.

Last night I bought some frozen talapia, and put one in the refrigerator to defrost for today. I needed to make it quick because my mom was coming over to get my closet organization system started, so I just fried it. Easy, right? And it was, but right after I put it in the saute pan I realized that I’m not really sure how to tell when fish is cooked well enough. I faked it well, though, and I think it turned out just fine. I also fried up some cut-up red potatoes quickly, which I definitely should have cooked longer.

If I can find shallots tomorrow (the Super Target I do most of my shopping at was sold out), I have a recipe for lamb chops I’d like to try. I probably won’t have to cook much Thursday or Friday with Thanksgiving and all, but after the leftovers are gone I have a pork roast recipe to try in my Crock Pot.

The fact that I actually have balsamic vinegar in my house makes me feel quite a bit more domestic than I did yesterday. Oh, and I have salt now too.

Not Tonight; I Have A Headache

I am not a seasonal allergy sufferer; I suffer from them pretty much all the time. Dust, mold, whatever it is, it’s controlled quite nicely by a daily dose of Zyrtec. Somehow I managed to run out without buying more first, so last night I missed a dose.

I had this grand plan to go to Sam’s Club because they have the best price I’ve found for Zyrtec, and besides, I could use some fish and whatever to throw in the freezer. So I went to my parents’ for dinner, and Mom and I headed off to Sam’s. I got plenty of meat to put in the freezer (it’s not that big a freezer; I’m considering getting a little chest freezer to put in the garage or entryway closet or something), and I even noticed they had a spice chai mix in stock that a coworker likes so I called to see if she’d like me to pick it up, but more than an hour after I got home I realized I didn’t get the Zyrtec.

So far my sinuses haven’t been too bad, so I think I’ll be fine until I can pick up some at Target tomorrow, but I do have a bit of a headache forming.

Around the time I was moving into my new place, I stocked up on a lot of baking supplies: regular flour, better for bread flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, brown sugar, chocolate chips…you get the idea. I’ve really been looking forward to using my bread machine more often, but I hadn’t located the book that tells me what order to put everything in. While I was at my parents’ this evening, I found it mixed in with a bunch of my mom’s cookbooks and started checking out the ingredients to make sure I have everything I need for plain old whole wheat bread. All set! Except salt. How do I forget to buy a staple like salt? It’s also on my list for Target for tomorrow.

Another Unexciting Day

Is “unexciting” even a word? It doesn’t sound right, but spell-check doesn’t mind it, and I’m too tired to care at this exact moment.

I did get a bit of exciting news today, but it won’t really be exciting until Sunday, when my new sofas will be delivered. The last I heard they wouldn’t be in until November 30, and I wasn’t planning to have them delivered until the following weekend so I don’t have to take off more time right now, but they came in exactly when I was originally told they would, yesterday. There’s some work to do before they arrive (like touching up the paint that is behind where the sofas will sit, and fitting the temporary furniture into their permanent homes in the bedrooms), but I’m so looking forward to my comfy new sofas with power recliners.

I bought something else this evening that will eventually be exciting, the closet organization for my master bedroom closet. Like with the sofas, there’s a fair amount of work that to be done before I can actually start putting away my clothes (not the least of which is just painting the closet), but perhaps within a few days that will start coming together.

I finally remembered to grab my older TiVo from my parents’ house after running errands. I don’t record much on it, just a small number of shows where I too many in the timeslot, but now that I have time to catch up with a little TV, it’ll be nice to get those shows too. After I got it connected to the TV in the second bedroom I discovered that it hadn’t connected successfully to TiVo since last Friday, so it had nearly run out of guide data. Oops!

The rest of my evening was spent catching up with some of the previously mentioned TV and setting up for tomorrow’s Stampin’ Up! workshop. Getting together with a few friends will be fun, but preparing for this is also making me look forward to when I’m a little more settled and can finally try to have classes at my home. I received the January-April mini catalog and Sale-A-Bration brochure today in the mail, and there are so many new things I’m looking forward to playing with!

Staving Off More Illness

Today I woke up feeling very rundown and possibly coming down with another cold (I’m still wondering if my first cold was really a cold at all, since the symptoms were also very similar to H1N1), so I called in sick to work and got some extra sleep. I’m so glad I did, because I feel better than I have pretty much since my closing. Burning the candle on both ends only works for so long.

This afternoon and early evening I managed to finish up designing the other three projects for my workshop Saturday, so now all I have left for tomorrow evening and Saturday morning is to cut the pieces and pack things up. Tomorrow evening I’m joining my parents for dinner and a trip to Menard’s so I can buy the stuff for my master closet that’s on sale there this week, and I also really need to remember to get from their house the case I use to pack up and carry stuff to workshops.

Mom and Barb did more work in the master closet this evening. It’s a godsend to have a couple of people who are willing to work on things even when I don’t have the time to work on them right now myself. But rest assured, as soon as this workshop is done, I’m going to get back to it. I really need to start thinking about my Christmas cards, though.

My Post Was Eaten

I don’t really have the heart to rewrite the post I just though I posted but seems to have disappeared.

Short story version: I was nervous about using the dryer I had in storage for about 11 years, but it appears to be fine.

Tomorrow I need to buy real food. And put my bread machine to work.