Friday, May 30, 2014

The Happenings

Girl, it has been a while!

Really, it's time to play catch up. There is a lot going on! For me it is a lot of hard work paying off and so much planning that is all coming to fruition.

The internship in Edinburgh was fantastic. Not only did I learn a lot from a cool theatre company (see my previous blog from January) but I met some amazing people. I wasn't fully prepared for their warm generosity of spirit, but there it was.

Back to the US:
I returned to Houston from Scotland early April, went to Napa to see the Folks, flew back to Arlington Virginia to attend a dear friend's wedding and stuck around in VA to present my Capstone project (Comparing performing arts philanthropy in US and Scotland). Once more back to Houston to pack for the next big step!

Traveled BACK to Arlington (keeping up with all this?) this time with my family to walk across the stage at Graduation. I cannot tell you how lovely it was that my family took the time to come support me during that weekend, their constant support for this educational process has touched my heart.
When they left VA, I stayed for a bit...

Performing Arts Management in the UK:
Even though I walked at graduation in mid May, I truly have one summer class left in order to graduate. Two weeks in Arlington studying then three weeks in London meeting with arts managers in lovely theaters museums dance organizations and music halls! We get to pick their brains and see a lot off great performances! I am thrilled to be boarding a plane for this portion of The Plan in a few hours :) while in VA I have gotten to see my dear friends here one last time before I truly settle in to a life in Texas.

John is meeting me in The UK, we will be traveling there for a bit and I am very excited to show him the Edinburgh I love. When we come back to the states we Immediatly flew to.... Jill Harding's wedding on St. John's in the US Virgin Islands. I have never been before and I am stoked to get to continue one of my true passions, scuba diving.

After all of that adventure, John and I get to go back to Texas, this time... together. We are both very ready for this long-distance marriage to become a live-in see-you-everyday finally-together-again marriage.

So guys, that's the haps. If it looks like I'm here then there then wtf is happening and where... Now you know. And by the way... I miss my Alaska Family, I'm thinking about you all in the smokey north  and hoping for rain.

Love and light and too many flights,

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Edinburgh Part 1

I made it to Edinburgh :) and I love being at the Royal Lyceum Theatre! a few days in to the internship and loving it.

I am sitting on the top floor of a 4 floor building, a flat with three bedrooms and a kitchen, very old school european apartment with tall ceilings and crown moulding. Updated bathroom and beautifully neutral everything. There is a tiny ledge on the window in the kitchen making a small bench to sit on. I am sitting here with a cup of peppermint tea overlooking the beautiful neighborhood of Bruntsfield (look it up!) and dreaming about some of the famous inhabitants of the 'hood.... and listening to the wind howl.
They call this neighborhood the writers block or authors square because JK Rowlings had a flat just a few doors down!!!

Everything is cold here except the people and the tea. I don't mean Alaska cold, I mean like damp and windy with no place that has constant heating options. I bought a plug in blanket because our radiator is on a timer. They wear so many more clothes here than I brought, just to stay warm. Time to buy a sweater. What was I thinking sacrificing my hoodie for another pair of slacks and shoes?? I need the hoody. Not so much the slacks.

My walk to the Lyceum about 1 mile each way and I do it every morning, it is great. I walked that way today and went down to Princes street and George street pausing along the way for beautiful sunny (yet still very chilly) pictures of the castle and the palace. There was an old cemetery that was green with algae in the middle of town that was so serene looking, it even harbored a tiny cherry tree with stubborn blossoms clinging to its cold branches, reminding me that there is more than just 17th century stone work here.

From my perch in the kitchen I clearly see Arthurs Seat and look westwardly towards the rest of the country. The sunset is like a fire on the cloud, burning the edges into my memory. The houses and gardens that I look onto from here are old and posh, some still single family 'homes' or mansions with lovely green areas out back, a luxury in this modern historic city. I love it here. It gets dark still too early for my taste but I like so much about it.

Have you been to Scotland in the winter? What was your favorite part? Where did you go?

If you would like to see a photo-stream of almost all my photos from my time here, get a flickr account and look me up jharding8.

Love and WARMTH

Friday, December 20, 2013

Schlo Mama Road Trip: Part 3

Day 3 of 3.
We made it to Houston!
Woke up in Hattiesburg, lunched in Beaux Bridge, ended the day in Houston with the love of my life.
After a year away from my husband and three full days on the road with MamaSchlo, all I wanted to do was cook a delicious dinner to share with my favorite people to celebrate this period of transition.

Part 3*
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas

Lunch at the Boudin Store & Cajun Mart in Beaux Bridge LA
Crawdad etouffee, crawdad poboy, pork boudin balls.

Crossing the border from LA to TX 
Blue Elbow Swamp

Blue Elbow Swamp
Welcome to Texas!

Guess who is NOT the biggest fan of legless/armless slitherin creatures?

Made it to Houston.
Enjoying "Wedding Wine", 
Young's Barbera 2005
one of the three last bottles from the wedding.

Tonight Momma Schlo and I made a delicious dinner of chicken on 
salad and stuffed dates with blackberry balsamic reduction,
quite a common thing in my kitchen.
For dessert I made cookie cups with sweet cream filling 
and a blackberry topper, as seen above. 
BTW they were all amazeballs.

My mom and I had been talking about doing a road trip together for a long time. Iam glad we finally did. We didn't kill each other, we have had a wonderful time. What a kind and open person, always ready to try to make my anxiety less by consoling me or to lend a hand to anyone she meets. She is an angel. Thanks Mom, for being so patient and kind.

I am glad to be back in Texas, reunited with my husband even if only for 5 days. I cannot get enough of him, I am smitten. 

We unloaded my car and all of my worldly possessions are once again in one place. Whew. Now to celebrate the holidays and spend a few rummaging around in my boxes finding JUST the right things to take to Scotland...

Love & Light

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Schlo Mama Road Trip: Part 2

Day 2 of 3 of our roadtrip!

We got on the road a little before 9, after breakfast and applying rainex to Fancy's windshield. We hear it will rain tomorrow and wanted to be prepared. That sh*t is magic. 

I bought delicious coffee from a proper coffeeshop, barista sporting dreads... somehow I was a little surprised in the middle of Tennessee to see wonderful dreads, but there they were proving me wrong. 

Momsy and I then drove in to Nashville and saw some sights before hitting the road hard. When we arrived in Mississippi we were greeted with a beautiful sunset, purple, fuschia, blue, yellow... nice end to a long drive.

*ROAD TRIP: Part 2*
Cookeville TN, Nashville TN, Alabama, & Mississippi

Grand Ole Opry at Opry Land 
She knocked it over, she was trying to put it back up before we got kicked out!

Grand Ole Opry at Opryland

Mom and Elvis in Nashville TN

The NEW headquarters of Hatch Show Print
They moved one month ago to the Country Music Hall of Fame
 from their famous historic location
on Broadway in Nashville. 
I was hoping to have seen the original print shop but alas.
The new place will do.

Country Music Hall of Fame

Mom and the angel near a symphonic hall in Nashville TN



We made it to Mississippi!
 Love and Light

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Schlo Mama Road Trip: Part 1

I moved out of Virginia today. 
To my friends that have welcomed me in VA, Thank you for your beautiful and creative support. This past year has been a time of huge growth in my life and sharing it with you and growing together is rewarding and humbling. VA and AMGT peeps, I miss you already and I hope to see you next May at graduation (or the UK Course!!)

*ROAD TRIP: Part 1*
Arlington, DC, Alexandria, Tennessee 

We packed and loaded the car all day yesterday and hit the road early this morning. We made it to Cookeville TN, tomorrow we visit the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. 

Seeing GMU Arlington

Alexandria for oysters

Alexandria crystal player, amazing tones

Iwo Jima memorial

Arlington National Cemetery 

The National Tree in front of the White House

White House!

Smithsonian National Gallery 

My mother. She needed to erase something.

Uh... I don't think this guy feels very well...
Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Wine tasting stop #1: Narmada Vineyard

Wine tasting stop #3: Pearmund Vineyard
And in this one we are showing off our wine stained teeth, 
an offering to the wine gods.
You can't see #2. 

In which my car, Fancy Grace Manners, gets attacked by a carwash.

In which we visit GMU Fairfax main campus, 
that is George Mason leering over my shoulder.

We got to Tennessee!

In which we learn more about TN BBQ. And Sharpie walls.

So far we have been having a wonderful time :)

I am so very excited to get back to Houston to see John Darling.

Love & Light

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ketchup and The Future

I have not written since June. What a slacker!
A lot has happened since that time;

  • Summer school, including a class in Brazil...
  • A Trip to Alaska to see my friends and family, and to help celebrate a besties wedding,
  • A Trip to Texas to celebrate John Darling and my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY (that was nice :D)
  • Multiple visits from John Darling here in VA... the spontaneity of some of the visits!
  • Work at Center for the Arts as hospitality and artists services!

...And now I am finishing up the Fall semester, preparing to leave Virginia and head back the way I came. I am getting sad already knowing I will be leaving some amazing people here in Virginia, people who have opened their hearts and let me in... knowing full well that I am a bit crazy and a bit unusual, they have been so kind and accepting. There are friendships here that I will definitely miss a lot. Thank jeebus for Facebook.

The end is in sight. The train that brings me to the end is starting to roll on the tracks and I can only continue to check things off my 'to-do' list and hope that I have planned accordingly.

Here is the Master Plan...

  1. Finish the fall semester (if it doesn't kill me first)
  2. Jo Mamma comes to VA
  3. We pack all my stuff (and sell most of it!)
  4. Jo Mamma and I drive to Texas for Christmas with the Inlaws
  5. Celebrate New Years with John Darling
  6. Take off for Edinburgh... start internship with the Royal Lyceum Theatre!
  7. May 17th GRADUATE with a Masters in Arts Management
  8. Participate in one last course that travels to London...
  9. End of June- Forever..... move BACK IN WITH MY HUSBAND FOR GOOD!!!!!!
  10. Find a job and rule the world.

But right now?? Work calls. Off to work the Shanghai Ballet tonight!

Love & Light

Ps. One of my besties is pregnant. I will be an Auntie again :) I am so excited for the Maples! Check out her blog, Maple & Me, and see how she and Mr. Maple live life in the frozen north...

AND check out the inspired beauty of intentional living with my other Besties blog, Bunchberry Farm ! Her words are inspirational and endearing...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Inspired community

This post is pretty late. But whatevs. Deal with it people!

So last month I had the pleasure of helping out with The Empty House Studio to produce an evening of deliciousness and inspired cooking. 

The chefs (quote from Sarah Coffin at The Empty House Studio): "Katie and Jonathan live in NYC... having worked in kitchens like Blue Hill, Parm, and La Mar. This intimate evening will be a great chance for them to share their love of beautiful, seasonal, food done well."

... And man it was good. Each plate was inspired for each guest, using seasonal delicious delights. We hustled around this beautiful home and serviced a few tables for a dining experience that lasted about 3-4 hours for each individual table. It was fun. And pretty. And tasty. And inspiring to see and work with people that love food, community, and artful intentions that fully embrace the power of creativity. Sarah has a much better write up about the event here... "the pixie and scout or love in age of restaurants"

Misc. pictures from that evening: (missing is a pic of chef Jonathan...)

The Pixie and the Scout

Sign by Henri
Setting up

before the madness

Katie prepping

Katie plating cheese and charcuterie


dessert- strawberries with creme basil and strawberry granita

No pictures of the entrees, we were just too busy!
Needless to say my food loving brain and belly were inspired. Soon after I went out and bought a bunch of the seasonal veggies they used and got back in the kitchen.
I also deviated from my usual 'no bread or sugars' for the Pixie and the Scout evening and for my meal because... I don't have to explain why to you, look how delicious it all was!

MY dishes days later
roasted beets, steamed beet greens, prosciutto, 
goat cheese, fennel greens, fennel root

fresh rosemary bread, truffle oil, salt and pepper

roasted beets

I love having a fancy shmancy cheese/meat/beer/wine store a block away!!!

Prosciutto, rosemary bread, strawberries, fennel greens, truffle oil

Call your mother!