Well, I'm free. I will officially now be self employed and be employed by only arts programs and small schools. :) I love this. I am already making big plans to sew again, knit again, paint again, and make jewelry again. All things I love dearly that I haven't been able to do since last summer! I am so excited to have a life again, have time to spend a little time doing things I want to do, etc.!
I also am going to re-vamp my kitchen, decor/organization-wise and food-wise. We are eating low-carb foods only, and I am trying to balance food on a budget (diets are expensive!!!). We moved in here only a week before we went on vacation. A day after that, I started my job. Embarrassingly enough, I still have major unpacking/sorting to do! And if I don't do it now, I won't do it because for all I know, we may be moving out of this place as soon as May 2011.
My salary was very low anyways (understandably since it was a church position), and if we budget, we will be fine. We love playing games together, etc. so we'll be fine. The big thing for me is trying to do a low-carb diet on a very tight budget...that is hard!
Things I am saving up for right now: new strings and a violin bow...I have a so-so violin (it was "only" $1,000) that I have been playing dozens of weddings and teaching with my spare viola bow...believe it or not, I don't own a violin bow! I took violin lessons for the first time again my senior year of college, and now that is the primary instrument I use. It's so frustrating that I can't get a beautiful sound that I imagine in my head out on the violin. A bow would do a world of difference. Someday I will be able to buy a violin bow for my violin, but right now, that's not an option which makes it difficult to play (my viola bow is very heavy, skids, and sounds pretty rough). If I wasn't so in love with my viola, I would sell it and get two mediochre instruments, but that's not happening. My viola was a steal, and I would be losing an awesome instrument that I got for a great price. Plus, my mom helped me pick it out. These are things to look forward to being able to get in the future. It's hard being in the place that I can't save money because we need all of it. I know everyone has been there, and it's a good but hard place to be. I am sure someday I will play my viola a lot...in this small town, the viola is not needed very often. Most weddings call for 2 violins and a cello (and that's the trio music I own). There isn't a paid orchestra nearby, other than the Tupelo Symphony which I get called to do a gig once in a while.
I decided to keep my chops up, I am going to go through old books and find something I have never played (on viola and violin). It is such a great outlet for me. I absolutely love music, and love pouring my emotions into playing lots of different instruments..You could say Madison & I love instruments... ha ha! I have a red electric violin, my violin, my viola, an ibanez electric that I really need to sell, a fender telecaster, a baby taylor guitar, a piano, and Madison has an electric/acoustic guitar, a fender strat, and a violin (and soon, a mandolin!)...so that is 10 going on 11 instruments in our house...
I have a lot of plans, and I will be keeping myself accountable by blogging my progress on these things, now that I will be teaching part time and having time to do things once in a while! First on my agenda for the next two weeks is getting our awfully messy house whipped into shape! It's so messy, it's embarrassing!!!
1. Been bit by a rabbit AND a dog in 1 day 2. Flipped my office chair and hit my head on Madison's guitar amp (while trying to get a pistachio shell out of my puppy's mouth...) 3. Burnt my wrist VERY badly with boiling tea from Bottletree...(they didn't put the top on all of the way!)
I hope the rest of this week gives me more luck :)
Ok, so now I can say what my decision was. I resigned from my position at the church I was working at. There were many factors, but it was certainly a difficult decision to make. I am feeling more and more okay with my decision as time passes. My last day is February 7. I really felt spread too thin and my health, among other factors, was really taken a hit. I can now focus on teaching, and although money will be really tight, I/we will be happy, so that's a very good thing. It's difficult barely making enough to pay rent, bills, and food, and not having any extra for trips, movies out, eating out, or clothes, but happiness is more important than all those things. I am currently advertising and getting the word out about my chamber group and lessons, and will be self employed again (and employed by 2 community schools). :)
So, there you go - - that's my big news of the day!
It's called Forbidden City Chicken...it is amazing!
What you need:
Chicken (I hate the look of raw chicken, so I didn't put it in the picture haha).
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (or use 8 thighs) 3 T butter, or oil 2 tsp. Madras Curry powder 1 tsp. ginger 1 tsp. garlic 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 T Splenda brown sugar blend (or if you're not dieting, regular brown sugar) 1/4 C soy sauce 2 T chicken stock or water
Melt butter or heat oil in small pan, turn off heat. Stir in curry powder, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Add soy sauce, Splenda blend, and chicken stock. Stir until well combined. Let cool if it is very hot.
Trim all visible fat and and tendons from chicken. Make small crosswise slits about 1/2 inch apart down the length of each piece of chicken. (This allows marinade to penetrate more.) Put chicken in zip-loc bag and pour marinade over. Marinate 6-8 hours.
To cook, preheat oven to 325. (350 if using thighs.) Remove chicken from marinade and place in glass dish that you have sprayed with nonstick spray, skin side down. (Save marinade in plastic bag.) Cook 20 minutes.
Turn and brush side facing up with reserved marinade. Cook 20-30 minutes more, until chicken is starting to brown and feels firm. Watch it carefully the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time because the sugar in the marinade can burn quite easily and ovens vary a great deal in actual temperatures. Turn it down if it seems to be getting too browned.