Made it!

Well, we definitely had a relatively easy night of things, comparatively speaking. Lost power for just about a half-hour right around bedtime, and the winds were dying down by 1am. We didn't sleep much, but the big trees on our property (and our neighbors) are all still upright, the power and heat are both on, and the gym is open. (Dammit.)

Next challenge: packing. We have a flight scheduled for noon tomorrow to Cincinnati...anyone care to place a bet as to whether we'll make it? As a precaution, KPW made a rental car reservation...so, best case scenario we'll fly, worst case? OPERA ROAD TRIP. (Which actually sounds pretty OK to me... Win win!) The more difficult part will be trying to pack for two very different climates; we start and end in cold places (Cinci and Chicago), but take a 5-day stop in balmy, 70+ degree Houston. Oh, and did I mention that I'm determined to not pay the extra baggage fees?


Time to get creative with the clothing options. But first? Time to get walking with the dog and to the gym to work off yesterday's wine and beef stew.

Hoping you're safe and warm.

My five:
1. A sturdy little house.
2. Power.
3. Those selfless folks who look out for our safety during big events like this.
4. A new travel adventure!
5. Lazy 'snow' days.



Winds are kicking up, the power is flickering, and things are getting scary.

(I'd rather skip Grease 1 and Sandy altogether, and go right to Grease 2. Michelle Pfeiffer is so cool.)

Making base camp in the living room, staying as distracted as possible until the power goes out with FB and weather maps, having a glass of wine. (Maybe two.), digging into the new John Irving book.... that's how I'll be spending the next 36 hours.

Stay safe, friends.


Sunday on a Saturday

Tomorrow is a work day, so today is technically Saturday and Sunday all in one. I had grand plans for today - a million things on the do-to-list, both necessities and fun things. But several factors have combined to make that list almost impossible:
1. The weather. Practically Perfect in every way.
2. The animals, who have decided that I'll leave forever if they let me out of their sight. One of the two have been my constant companion (sitting outside the shower, clamoring to join me in the bathroom, jumping on the counter when I'm pouring a needed cup of coffee) since I woke up this morning. (and yes, they tag-teamed the wake-up, too.)
3. A sudden, almost-lethal case of the clumsies. I have 4 new bruises, have both skinned & burned my hand on the hot grill, burned the other hand on the oven, stubbed a toe, hit my head. And I've only been out of bed since 7:30am.

So, it's in the interest of self-preservation that I'll be sitting on the porch, drinking water out of a cup with a straw (and trying desperately to not put an eye out), and doing some reading and writing this afternoon. Maybe the dog will get a walk if I'm feeling bold...

Maybe it's the barometer? Or maybe I'm just feeling disjointed, and it's manifesting itself quite literally. Dunno. But I do feel fairly justified in taking it easy for the rest of the day. :)

Wishing you a wonderful afternoon, and the perfect amount of leisure time. Oh, and grace...

My five:
1. Beautiful fall afternoons.
2. Homemade pumpkin pecan spice muffins.
3. Dishwashers and laundry machines and microwaves that make life so very easy.
4. Sweet stories. Moonrise Kingdom was a winner, and I'm head-over-heels into Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
5. The (literal) calm before the storm.



I'm home after an operatic (both in music and in scope) week in NYC. I always overextend myself in the city, have never been able to spend much time sitting in a hotel room decompressing. And I'm starting to see it as a really good thing - even though I'm tired-as-all-get-out now that I'm home, I wouldn't have traded a single moment - the reunions with pals from Carnegie Mellon; a production of Carmen that (while not my favorite opera) mightily exceeded the last production I caught; seeing the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood in previews - reliving the fun that I had music directing it way back when, and basking in the company of a pal I've known since high school and another pal who is one of the coolest girls I know; and hosting a good friend for her very first trip to the city. I am happy to have a few days to decompress (and detox, let's be honest...I don't need to actually eat or drink ANYTHING until the next leg of the tour), to reflect, to putter around my house and to write.

Funny how sometimes it's easier to feel like yourself when out of your element? I'm happy to be home, but I'm going to try to keep some of the momentum, the energy from this last week, spinning through even the quiet days.

My five:
1. Autumn. The trees in my yard are the epitome of the phrase "riot of color."
2. Walking around without wearing a backpack.
3. SUPER cuddly pets. The dog missed me. I think the cat did too, but he's alternating between needy and still-angry.
4. Coffee on the porch.
5. Refreshed relationships. Here's to friendships that transcend years.



It's 6:23 in Seattle, and I've been awake for an hour already. (Time zone acclimation FAIL.)

Yesterday was lovely. Another heinously early wake-up, followed by a short jog down to Pike's Place. Back to the hotel, then a short walk to Whole Foods for provisions, then a walk to a breakfast meeting, a full day of auditions, a dinner meeting, and a production of Fidelio at Seattle Opera. I was asleep by 10:30 local time, but obviously had difficulty staying there...and I'm totally starting to feel the impact.

We've stayed in 3 different hotels in three different parts of town in the past few visits, and I am totally, 100% lost in this small city. I cannot get oriented...got turned around during the jog, on the way to the audition site, all over the place. I'm choosing the wrong path 100% of the time...you'd assume that I should just go against my natural inclination and choose the other direction, but somehow THAT's the wrong direction, too.

(Hoping that's not a metaphor for my life at large...gulp.)

Today we travel to San Francisco. Short flight, with some time this afternoon to kill (read: forced nap) before dinner plans with a pal from my undergraduate days and his wife. If I were home, I'd be grumpygrumpygrumpy about the lack of sleep, but I'm enjoying the feeling of being a little bit out of it, a little discombobulated... letting my ears do the heavy lifting for the time being.

My five:
1. Mom! It's her birthday today.
2. Large-scale changes of scenery.
3. Generous colleagues.
4. Comfortable shoes.
5. Brave singers. Nicely done, Seattle.



Yep, that's not really one of my words...but in a few days I'll be flying over several hundred miles of well-ordered farmland and cities en route to the west coast. So, to prepare for both this trip and the subsequent ones, I need to quite literally get my things in order. My typical method? Do all my laundry, and then pull everything out of the closet, drawers, storage bins and go through each piece to decide whether it's something to pack away, give away or keep. There's always this nebulous pile, of things that-i-want-to-keep-but-that-don't-look-right/fit-right/make-me-feel-good. And it's that pile that tends to hang around longer than it should - doesn't often make it back into the closet or drawers, but usually sits on top or a dresser or on hangers over the door, mocking my indecision.

So today I'm planning to set a timer (to somewhat quell the wishy-washy part of my head, and to also make sure that the task doesn't expand to fill the entire day), to spend several hours getting organized, and to be ruthless with the wishy-washy pile. Clear space, clear mind, right?

(Here's hoping!)

Also on the docket for today? Roasting veggies, a jog in the cool rain, and some writing. I should run errands, but I may just revel in being a homebody and leave the car in the driveway.

My five:
1. Quiet, slow mornings.
2. Old photographs.
3. Fleece-lined slippers.
4. Snuggly pets. (Who needs to turn the heat on when the cat wants to be a permanent lap blanket? Although he does seem to suck the momentum out of the air.)
5. Candlelight.