Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Digital Nativity

No free write today - just this really sweet video. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I like being productive. This morning, I got up not-too-early but not-too-late, made it to the local decor store before it was a frothing maelstrom of Christmas shoppers, got all the shopping done for our friends, got to the grocery store before IT was chaos, got home before lunch, wrapped presents, did laundry, etc.

And I have more to do this weekend that I will happily do! And I can go to bed tonight knowing that it was both a restful day and a useful one.

I'm just waiting for WH to get home from a caroling gig at a shopping mall in a town close to ours. We have been having the most incredibly busy December, so I think that we are looking forward to an evening ...

... pause for cat to get comfortable in my lap...

... at home together. I took some pork tenderloin out of the freezer earlier, so there will even be dinner. Hallelujah.

And now I hear the dryer buzzing its completion, so back to it!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back at it!

So, in the spirit of trying to get back into a disciplined blogging, I'm taking a page from Crimson Rambler and working towards a regular (maybe daily, but that's optimistic), short free write exercise.

It is the Advent season, or Almostchristmas, as it might be more aptly-named from a secular point of view. I love this time of year for a number of reasons, including the amazing Advent music that we get to sing at church, the process of turning our home into something festive and wonderful, the planning process for FOOD, etc. I don't even mind the shopping, though I was thinking in the mall yesterday that shopping might be more enjoyable if people could arrange their facial expressions to something other than MEAN and ANGRY.

We will be having our second-annual Edible Christmas at One-Oh-Six this year with the family and dear friends. We came up with this last year; as a replacement for running around buying presents for each other, we would run around and buy food and then eat it all together at the same table. We cook together, we clean up together... it's a grand old time. And we play Apples to Apples, the greatest game ever.

Did get Christmas shopping finished (or close to it) for the husband-unit yesterday and am pleased and excited about that!

Looking very much forward to our annual trip to the mountains after Christmas to sit still, play cribbage, eat and drink nice things and rest. In the meantime, there are concerts and carolling gigs and preparations and all of that kind of thing left to do!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Movie Night: Part 2

The movie night commitment is holding strong, and since I posted about It's Complicated, WH and I have seen the following:

We have seen a really interesting range of movies from the intense (Harry Brown) to the visually splendid (Sherlock Holmes) to the enjoyably silly (Prince of Persia) to the dark (Leaves of Grass).

It's my turn to pick again next week! I'm interested in seeing The Experiment, but I'll take other recommendations!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In which I fall in love...

... with these.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Movie Night: Part 1

WH and I both have Tuesday evenings at home this fall. When we realized that that was going to be the case, we decided that we would commit to devoting Tuesday evenings to each other and to doing something that wasn't related to choral music or work or housecleaning etc. We settled on movie nights.

These are the parameters:
- movies can be watched at home or by going to the theatre.
- for ease of decision-making, we will alternate picking the movie.
- no blackberries, no iPhones, no computers!

So, last Tuesday, I chose It's Complicated, starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

We both enjoyed this movie! I don't think that the movie challenged any of the three main actors very much, but they were at home and comfortable in their roles. Particularly impressive was Steve Martin's performance, which was contained, gentle and fragile. Jon Krasinski (of The Office) was refreshing and funny as the soon-to-be son-in-law who knows more than he wishes he did.

Visually, the movie is delightful. Beautiful scenery, beautiful homes and a STUNNING bakery owned by Meryl Streep. (WANT!) I was pleased to find that, part-way through the movie, I actually wasn't sure how it was going to end. This is not a typical feature of romantic comedies, so it was a nice surprise! It was a great first movie night!

WH gets to choose next week's flick, and he's talking about Sherlock Holmes... Whee!

Friday, August 13, 2010

More good decisions

I am taking Fridays in August off.

Four long weekends in a row, all lovely opportunities to sleep in, golf, get the last of the summer housework done and maybe get out of town for a couple of days, depending how the housework goes.

So this morning, I'm sitting in bed at 9am having a cup of coffee (coffee in bed is one of my favourite things), with cats on either side of me, contemplating getting my oil changed and doing some serious cleaning in the basement. It doesn't sound very glamourous, but I am grateful to have the extra time to do the things that need doing!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Good decisions

The husband and I made a really good decision last winter. We got a cleaning lady. Two cleaning ladies, in fact! For the purposes of this blog, I think that I shall refer to them as our Angels.

One of the difficulties of my having a day job and WH having a job that requires a lot of evening hours is that there really isn't a lot of time that we spend together at home during the school year. We made the decision to employ our Angels because we didn't want to be spending most of what little time we're both here cleaning the house. The Angels come every two weeks and do the floors and the kitchen and the bathrooms, they dust and brush the cat hair off the couches, they empty and clean the garbage and compost bins... they really are amazing. Having them has also provided a good disciplinary practice for WH and I. The night before they come, we go through the house and do all the tidying, put everything away, and sort through any piles of "stuff" that have accumulated in the last two weeks. The practice goes a long way to keeping us in control of our space, which is so gratifying.

Last week, we came home after the Angels were here to find the house full of flowers. Turns out that one of our cleaning ladies is an award-winning gardener, and she had brought flowers from her garden for our house. She left a note offering ongoing access to any clippings from her perennials. How kind is that?!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I have a crush on...

...U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker.

An excerpt from this article on Time.com:
Allowing gays to marry, he reasoned, doesn't change marriage; it simply reflects a better understanding of gender and gender roles in society. "The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The exclusion [of gays from marriage] exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Ramblings

It's so amazing to me that August has rolled around again. What happened to July, or to May and June, for that matter?

WH and I are having a really lovely summer. We had a great trip east to visit his family, a trip that included TWO baseball games, lots of swimming, lots of laughs and lots of relaxation. We have golfed a lot, eaten good food and drunk good drink. I can't remember a summer that I've loved as much as this one... and so much of that happiness came from simply sitting in the sunshine. And now we've reached that part of the summer where the mind can't help but start to poke at the things that need to be done before September, the choir to-do list, the last yard work, etc.

In an effort to make the most of the last few weeks of summer, I've opted to take Fridays in August off, which should allow us to get a few more rounds in and to spend some dedicated time on the yard. We'll be digging out a flower garden in the back yard, planting a few trees and replacing the garden space next to our front door, at the very least. We may get around to a few more cosmetic details while we're at it.

I hope that your summer is going well and that you, too, are getting a chance to enjoy the sun!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This morning, at roughly 6am:

Me: Good morning Mama Cat. We are going to put you up for adoption, ok?
Mama Cat: Meow.
Me: We are going to put out a notice today that says, "FREE TO A GOOD HOME. OR EVEN A BAD HOME. REALLY, FREE TO ANY HOME AT ALL."
MC: Meow.
Me: And if that doesn't work, we may just move and leave you here for the new owners to deal with.
MC: Meow.
Me: Or, we might drive you out to the provincial bison park and drop you off to there to fend for yourself against the bison.
MC: Meow Meow
Me: Because bison probably don't care when you get up at 2am and decide to knock golf tees off the bedside table and then chase them around the room. Bison don't care... no they don't!
MC: Meow
Me: They might care when you attack their toes while they're sleeping though.
MC: Meow
Me: Sigh
Me: You're awfully cute, you know that?
MC: Meow.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blogging Update

Hi all!

So, after a brief bloggy break during which I put this blog away for a little while, I'm back! I was struggling to find things to blog about, but as soon as I put the blog away, a flood of topics came to mind. So we're back on the horse.

A couple of things have changed! You'll notice that I'm no longer blogging as Chorus, though the blog title remains the same. I've decided that I really don't have a reason to be anonymous in my blogging. So here I am! My name is Kathleen!

I've also started a new blog about food titled in water, in butter and in wine to add to Observed by Watching, my blog about sports. This blog here at I am Chorus will continue to be dedicated to the everyday life, the things that I see and experience and want to unpack a little bit.

Good to be back!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekend in Review

A gooder, I think, all in all...

Helped WH with recording a student recital (nice to hear a genuINE alto, for once) at MHU on Friday night. And by help, I mean arrived after he had set everything up, sat with him in the booth during the recital, put away three things after the recital, and then put my coat on in a meaningful manner... USEFUL! Popped over to the home of some dear friends afterwards to have a glass of wine and get caught up. Much amused by their little boy, who has discovered the little suction cup toys that you press down and then wait to see them shoot up into the air when the suction cup releases. No matter how many times he played, he took great joy in the whole process every time, right up to the peals of giggling at the end. Great joy.

Saturday, we had a very productive Chamber Choir retreat in preparation for a very large project being done in partnership with another chamber choir in the province. We have officially turned the corner with the music, so that feels great! Then back over to the home of the same dear friends to present the little boy with his birthday present. (He's FOUR! Already! Hard to believe I held him when he was only 12 hours old.) Then WH off to record another student recital and me off to grocery shop.

The Sunday morning service at MHU was one of those services where eight things go wrong but in the end, you go home satisfied anyway. There was reading confusion, and psalm confusion, and confusion in the mind of the intercessor about where last weeks' mining accident had occurred (West Virginia... Kentucky... whatev). But we got a smoker of a sermon from our Hon. Ass't that felt pointedly directed at ME (because it's all about ME), so there was much to reflect on that made the rest of the morning's oopsies seem irrelevant.

And then last night, another student recital, one that I'll list among the very best of the (many) that I've heard. Tough repertoire, maturely delivered, demonstrating the most incredible ability to be both restrained and LOOKATMYBIGVOICE that you could possibly imagine.

So a good weekend leading into another long week.

How are you?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Augenblick Update

Surgery went well and recovery is proceeding apace.

I'm a little bit ... bored, I guess, but the fact that the surgically repaired eye is not yet working together with the good eye means that I can't read, I can't really spend any more than 15 minutes on the internet at one time, I can't play any of the games that usually occupy my free time... I can watch TV, however, so that's what I've been doing. And napping.

Tomorrow, I hope to get out for a walk with WH to get some fresh air. Maybe if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll do laundry!

Speaking of WH, he's been entirely lovely in the TLC department, fetching things to and fro and keeping me laughing and cheerful at every turn. He has also been totally non-judgmental when, to the question of what I want to eat, I have responded with, "Chips. And spring rolls. And tater tots."

Well, my 15 minutes is up...

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Some of you may recall this post about about my cataract problem from last April.

Well, tomorrow the cataract is coming out! I have some anxieties about the surgery itself, but nothing serious, and I'm looking forward to having the week that follows off to rest. And I'm very much looking forward to the results, which I understand from others to be pretty much instantaneous. In the meantime, I'm figuring out the pre and post-operative eye drop schedule, which a person almost needs an excel spreadsheet to track. Is there an app for that??

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our cat.

Definitely, OUR cat.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Submission to the Parish Newsletter

It’s a very difficult thing to try and communicate a relationship with music in only a few words. But I’ll try.

When my mother was appointed rector at Most Holy and Undivided, I didn’t immediately make the transition to the new parish. Rather, I professed a desire to stay at Little Cottage Church. I believe that my intention to stay at LCC came largely from a desire to define a relationship with the church that wasn’t simply that of PK.

That said, and despite my declarations of loyalty to LCC, I stopped attending services there. I didn’t attend LCC; I didn’t attend MHU. My push for an independent attachment to the church had resulted in no attachment at all. I was, in effect, without church.

I happened to be at MHU for a Sunday morning service in December 2003 and through a variety of circumstances, found myself the subject of choral hounding at coffee hour by then-Music Director KW.

So I joined the choir.

And by the grace of God, and thanks to William Byrd and Anglican chant, my rupture from the church began to heal. And the more I sang, the more I understood that the relationship with the church and with God that I had abandoned was a relationship communicated through music. Music, to me, was prayer.

It was helpful, of course, that I thought the choir’s conductor was a handsome and nifty fellow. In my case, not only did the choir’s music prove to be a healing force, so too did the musician.

So here I am again, ten years later, at another crossroads in complicated relationship between me and church. My mother’s retirement, while a joyful event that she has very much earned, has incited in me moments of panic as I try to imagine what it means to be a parishioner at a church not led by her. I know that this feeling, too, shall pass.

Because I’ll just keep singing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Five: Winter Olympic Edition

We loves the Winter Olympics, yes we do. To the Friday Five, then!

1) Which of the Winter Olympic sports is your favorite to watch?

Oh, I like watching them all, but I do get very nervous watching any of the sports where a Canadian is vying for a win. The women's bobsled the other night almost killed me. I've been known to leave the room when it gets really exciting and WH always says, "You have to watch!" And I always say, "You can't make me!"

2)Some of the uniforms have attracted attention this year, such as the US Snowboarders' pseudo-flannel shirts and the Norwegian Curling team's -- ahem -- pants. Who do you think had the best-looking uniforms?

I'll take anything in red and white! With a maple leaf on it, that is. The Swiss red and white is all wrong.

3)And Curling. Really? What's up with that?

What is up with curling is that it is awesome. And, truthfully, one of the best televised sports in the world. The cameras can get very close, you can see every shot, and the competitors talk strategy so you know what's going on all the time! Seriously, check it out!

4) Define Nordic Combined. Don't look it up. Take a guess if you must.

Oh pooh... I think that cross-country skiing is involved, but I can never remember what it's combined with. I know that it's not shooting because that's biathlon. (Sidebar... can you imagine participating in a sport in which your competitors all had loaded weapons? That's motivation, for ya.)

Ok, confession time. I looked it up. And CR was right! It is ski jumping!

5) If you could be a Winter Olympics Champion just by wishing for it, which sport would you choose for winning your Gold Medal?

In this country, it would have to be hockey. Or curling. Hmmmm... if it was curling, I'd get to do more shouting, so let's go with that!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More cookery...

Yesterday was a smashing success. Our little freezer is packed full of delicious food (we had some taste tests) and more even that, the three of us had a wonderful time together, laughing and teasing and enjoying each other's company.

Tonight I'm making myself a cornish game hen. If I like this recipe, I'll make it again after WH gets back. I did make hens once before with mixed success so I thought it was time to try again. I've stuff the cavity with orange and rosemary and will make a sauce out of white wine, garlic and chicken stock. Here's the recipe, by the way.

The theme in the kitchen for 2010 is based on three principles: adventure, good planning and making use out of what we have. So we have been working on a project to develop a series of week-long meal plans that balance new recipes with old favourites, that allow us to cook new things about once a week and that involve a weekly survey of the food that is in our fridge, freezer and pantry and how we can incorporate those. Almost two months in, things are working out really well!

Except that the power just went out. If electricity ruins my game hen... I'm gonna be ticked.

Update - long power outage, but the food survived!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gettin' ready to get my cook on!

Today is COOKING day.

Two friends, J and G, and I are getting together this afternoon to cook approximately 7 gillion meals that we can freeze to feed our families when we're too busy to cook something from scratch. On the menu are:

Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken en Croute (Freeze wonderfully and cook so amazingly from frozen)
Beef Stroganoff
Butternut Squash Soup with Sour Cream
Easy Pizza Spread

I did the grocery shopping last night, which included wonderful things like 7lbs of mushrooms, 24 chicken breasts, 9 boxes of chicken stock, and so on. I need to make one more stop at the grocery store today to get rotisserie chickens and to replace two containers of sour cream that came to a sad end on our driveway when we were unloading last night.

And by we, I mean MU and I. She provided great assistance in converting recipe measurements to grocery store units, suggesting replacements for Monterrey Jack cheese and generally keeping me from going off the rails when I couldn't find what I was looking for.

We have been beset upon by fog this year in Prairie City and Prairie Hamlet, more than I can ever remember previously. It makes for nervous driving, but the frost on the trees that results is so beautiful. So I'm sitting here with my cup of hot coffee and the cats looking outside at a world that looks perfectly frozen.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Touching Base

Hey there, neglecterinos.

I'm still here.

Life chugs along apace, busy and stressful work, busy but lovely choral responsibilities, fulfilling and happy life at home.

And I am watching lots of Olympics, which I love.

WH is away these two weeks adjudicating in another province so we are learning the wonders of Skype. How nifty is that?!

The cats are the same - needy, but sweet.

And on we go.

I hope to write more profound things in the coming days, but we'll see.

Monday, January 11, 2010