December 31, 2010

December 31st, 2010


Chocolate peppermint bar cookies, finished just before midnight last year as an end-of-year treat.  Probably the last cookie I'll make in 2010.  


December 30, 2010

December 30th, 2010


Street vendors on the downtown mall where I live.  In the summer, I bought a few hippie skirts from them.  In winter, they're specializing in shawls and scarves.  If only I had money.


December 29, 2010

December 29th, 2010


My boyfriend and I made an awesome dinner last night - he made the rice (Puerto Rican style!) and I made chicken mushroom marsala and had one of those lovely moments when you think that everything looks bad and will taste disgusting but in fact turns out delicious.  


December 27, 2010

December 27th, 2010


This is the dessert I made for my family's official Christmas dinner: candy cane chocolate chip cheesecake.  Weather conditions being what they were this weekend, we were unable to make it to the family get-together; tragically, my immediate family and I had to eat the cake ourselves.  It was a painful trial, I tell you.  (My dad had seconds.)


December 26, 2010

December 26th, 2010


A White Christmas in Virginia for the first time in my life.  Gorgeous.


December 25, 2010

December 25th, 2010


My family does the holidays right.  Merry Christmas, everyone.


December 24, 2010

December 24th, 2010


O Tannenbaum.  My family always gets a huge Christmas tree, a real proper-sized one really.  This year's model is somewhat slim around the middle - I think it looks like it hit a growth spurt.  I wasn't around to help decorate this year for the first time, but my special angel ornaments are still hung up all over the branches.


December 23, 2010

December 23rd, 2010


Nutcrackers being sold outside of the ballet my family and I saw last night.  (Guess what we saw. No, really.)


December 22, 2010

December 22nd, 2010


The first present of the holiday season!  Given to me and boyfriend by our lovely friend Davina. Thank you, gorgeous, and merry Christmas!


December 21, 2010

December 21st, 2010

fighting cock

This is a complete inside joke, but I was delighted today to go to the local ABC store and find this: FIGHTING COCK WHISKEY.  My Conservatory fellows would have been delighted.


December 20, 2010

December 20th, 2010


'Thirteen months to the day since Gandalf sent us on our long journey... we found ourselves looking upon a familiar sight...

 We were home.'

Frodo, The Return of the King


December 19, 2010

December 19th, 2010

Today, there is no picture - there's only this.

This place healed me and made me happier again than I've been in close to ten years.  I have been here since September 19th and it has been an epic journey of love and pain and discovery and heartbreak and renewed life.  I am grateful for the people I have met, the time we have shared, and the future productions we'll undoubtedly have together.


December 18, 2010

December 18th, 2010


This is the culmination of the last three months of my life - the Conservatory production of As You Like It.  This photo courtesy of Kevin Sprague, featuring our Rosalind and Orlando.  It's been an amazing show filled with incredible and talented friends, and I've loved every moment of it.


December 17, 2010

December 17th, 2010


This lovely girl is another of my dear friends up here.  She dances like a dream, is always on my side, and gives some of the best hugs ever.  Here she is zipping up her fly on her fabulous costume.  Because she is awesome.


December 16, 2010

December 16th, 2010


Last Burger Night!  This one accompanied by one of my favorite teachers here at the program.  We spent the evening discussing Richard III and ghost stories.


December 15, 2010

December 14, 2010

December 14th, 2010


Green room hanging out backstage during the tech run of our Conservatory show.  Surprisingly chill time.


December 13, 2010

December 13th, 2010


I spent my yesterday with friends making gingerbread houses out of graham crackers.  I'm officially reverting to a five-year old as the month progresses. 


December 12, 2010

December 12th, 2010


In the midst of a mad bout of baking last night, my fellow baker and I invented cookies!  Or a recipe of them, at least.  The ones on the left are peanut butter blossoms, which are my family's favorite holiday cookie.  The ones on the right are the ones that we created - we're calling them chocolate peppermint blossoms, and they are amazing.


December 11, 2010

December 11th, 2010


This lovely lady is my director for the show I'm currently in as I come to the end of my Conservatory.  She spent half an hour yesterday working with me alone on the 30-second song I have to solo, mostly just reassuring me that I wasn't a total tone deaf waste of space.  I adore this woman.


December 10, 2010

December 10th, 2010


I made cloven fruit yesterday!  Very easy to do - you get whole cloves from the spice aisle at any supermarket and then push them in to oranges or lemons.  The cloves preserve the fruit and dry it out so it never rots, and the smell of cinnamon and cloves and citrus that comes from these is incredible.  Now my room smells like Christmas.


December 9, 2010

December 9th, 2010


This pretty girl is an incredible person and one of my dearest friends in the world.  She's one of those people who you need in your life to keep you sane.  Last night, our whole group had our final Wednesday Burger Night and she was my special guest.  Awesome times were had by all.


December 8, 2010

December 8th, 2010


Icicles hanging off the eaves of one of the nearby cottages where I live.


December 7, 2010

December 7th, 2010


The snow saga continues!  We're on day 3 and I'm calling this a blizzard.  I'm from the South, though - this kind of weather would paralyze us down there.  I have the vague feeling that  my Northerner friends up here are unimpressed.


December 6, 2010

December 6th, 2010


The snow continued last night, getting heavier and heavier and finally starting to stick to the ground.  Couldn't believe how pretty it was.  It's also thick enough that snowballs can be informed, as some of my friends will find out today...


December 5, 2010

December 5th, 2010


Woke up this morning to the sun shining through pinpricks of snowflakes, turning them fiery in the frigid morning air.


December 4, 2010

December 4th, 2010


These horses were on parade down the mainstreet of my town today, with their riders in full holiday Victorian garb.


December 3, 2010

December 3rd, 2010


Lovely little Christmas shop in town.  You may notice a theme in entries for the next few weeks.  I love Christmas, what can I say?


December 2, 2010

December 2nd, 2010


Gloriously chilly December sky.  Weather report says we're not supposed to get snow till Sunday.  We'll see.


December 1, 2010

December 1st, 2010


Beautiful candy display at the mall, with all sorts of proper sweets laid out.  I like old fashioned candy stores; this is sort of a kiosk equivalent.


November 30, 2010

November 30th, 2010


The holly garlands and red ribbon wreaths are going up all over the place in the little town I'm living in.  I have a feeling Christmas here is going to be fantastic.


November 29, 2010

November 29th, 2010


Back in my favorite place, the lakelet has started to freeze over.  Welcome to Winter Proper, everyone.


November 28, 2010

November 28th, 2010


Living in a high rise means no pets.  This is why we keep plants!  I give you my bebbies - Tomaty and the Gemini. 


November 27, 2010

November 27th, 2010


On an early morning walk with my beau, saw this lovely little garden gate.  In summer it was full of green ivy; now at the end of November, all the colors are almost gone.  I'm ready for Christmas.


November 26, 2010

November 26th, 2010


This is my Grandma - eighty-seven years old and still awesome.  She and my uncle came down to my folk's house to spend Thanksgiving with us.


November 25, 2010

November 25th, 2010


My role this Thanksgiving: dessert chef.  I baked a batch of cookies last night, and I was up early this morning making this pumpkin pie and caramel cake.   I love being on sweet duty!


November 24, 2010

November 24th, 2010


My Shakespeare family, or most of them at least.  These are the lovelies I've been living, working, and playing with for a good two months now.  I can't imagine my life without them.  This is all us at Orphan Thanksgiving.


November 23, 2010

November 23rd, 2010


Orphan Thanksgiving, celebrated last night with my second family.


November 22, 2010

November 22nd, 2010


The view of last night.  All these kids in the past four days performed ten Shakespeare shows with more passion and enthusiasm than any professional show I've ever seen, and they cheered each other on like they were watching the Superbowl.  It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.


November 21, 2010

November 21st, 2010


When is too early to start preparing for Christmas?  Right now, we're less than a week out from Thanksgiving and usually I'm adamant about not starting one holiday before the other one's done.  On the other hand, this house all decked out in Christmas-ware?  Made my day.


November 20, 2010

November 20th, 2010


Another holy place, this one a shrine found by the local Catholic church.  Hail Mary, full of grace.


November 19, 2010

November 19th, 2010


This church sits on the outskirts of my town on the top of a hill.  I'm in need of spiritualism right now, and I find its position and its simplicity comforting.   One day I'll even get courage to go in.


November 18, 2010

November 18th, 2010


There is a tradition building among the lovely group I've been hanging out and working with for the past two months, and that tradition is Shakespearean Burger Night.  This is my darling roommate and several of my friends at last night's SB Night, and it was one of the best times I've had with these guys.


November 17, 2010

November 17th, 2010


It's been rather miserable the past few days - the sight of blue sky, even if only for a little while, was a welcome change.


November 16, 2010

November 16th, 2010


This is my favorite brunch restaurant ever.  I go here with friends practically every week - they have delicious organic omelets and pancakes and really good coffee to boot.  Best thing about this week's visit was that it was a weekday morning, so the place was practically empty and we could sit and relax as long as we wanted.


November 15, 2010

November 15th, 2010


A very close friend and I made these wonderful cookies last night - they're sweet potato chocolate chip!


November 14, 2010

November 14th, 2010


The two lovely bottles of red wine I consumed along with a few friends last night.  Both were heady and rich and dark and gorgeous.  Went perfectly with the sad movie we were watching.


November 13, 2010

November 13th, 2010


A toy playhouse of surprising intricacy, found hidden away in a cluster of bushes in the far corner of a backyard.

November 12, 2010

November 12th, 2010


This pair of truly awesome pants were worn by my director yesterday.  Liked them so much I snapped a picture.  Now I really want a pair of my own!


November 11, 2010

November 11th, 2010


A sunlit road on a November afternoon.  I kept hearing Bilbo's voice in my head.  (The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began...)