Wow… here we go again.. I’ve been absent from the blog for too long. Life is so busy with work, life, volunteering at the Madeira Club and doing things around the house. My jelly/jam/apple butter making is done for the year and here’s hoping that they all go! Last weekend I set up at a bazaar and I’m going to be doing a small one this week as well.
So many things have happened this fall as well… My darling daughter got engaged and rather than getting married in two years as originally planned, they decided to get married on the beach in Hawaii this May when we fly out for my son’s college graduation! There’s planning, showers, and making ready for the spring. We’ll be having a reception in June to include the local family and friends. By the time this school year is done I’ll have a college graduate and a married daughter! What a big year!
Yesterday was our Thanksgiving and it was a low key day with just my husband, dad, daughter and fiancé. After cleaning up, I decided to decorate for Christmas so DH and I got everything done except the live tree for the family room. We’ll likely go out to buy it this afternoon and will decorate it this weekend. The plan is to tackle my extremely cluttered and full spare room today. That’s going to be a huge job but since we’ll be pulling out the Christmas bins anyway, it makes perfect sense.
I’ve been knitting and trying to spend at least 15 minutes before bed reading just for pleasure. Usually, during the school year, I’m so busy that it’s all about work. I’m making a conscious effort to have some balance… life is too short!
Classroom Thanksgiving Feast!
The family <3
Little Christmas “Bush” … Live family room tree coming soon!
I am so grateful and blessed with so much in my life…. LIFE IS GOOD!
PS… The Red Sox won the World Series since my last post! Wooohooo!!
Ahhhhh! I finally got to enjoy the boat today. I haven’t been out in her since August in New Hampshire. It was a combination of going back to school, busy weekends and the boat being in the shop. Al has been going out with a friend in his boat this fall but I haven’t had the pleasure. Today was a low key day but was just what I needed!
This weekend I decided to try some apple butter to use up all of the apples I had on hand. I culled ideas from multiple recipes and comments but one great tip that I used was to collect the juice after boiling the apples and use it to make apple jelly. By doing this, it reduced the amount of liquid in the apple butter so that I didn’t have to “boil it down” to evaporate to an ultra thick consistency. I used a cheesecloth to strain it before putting the apples into the crock pot with the spices to cook all night into a delicious, dark, tangy apple butter spread.
After cooking all night, I canned the apple butter then used the saved apple juice to make a sweet apple jelly. Yippee!! Talk about making the most of my batch of apples. I posted a picture on Facebook and friends/family want to try it. If I do make large batches I will have to come up with a connection for cheap (ideally free!) apples to pull it off. Unlike everything else in my little hobby/business, these items are not organic and homegrown as I don’t have an apple tree. I will definitely pursue options to buy locally at least.
Apple butter on the left, apple jelly in the middle and on the right.
When my kids were little, fall meant hours on the sidelines of soccer and football fields and the start of the new school year for me. I never worked during the summer back then so it was truly a brand new routine after having the summer off.
Then for many years, fall weekends were spent at Gillette Stadium watching my beloved Patriots and attending various radio shows and events during the week. Those were the heydays of my Podcast and Training Camp reports. I didn’t work summers then either, rather, spent many, many hours at camp and behind the computer producing fan content. (It was like a full time job, just for free! lol)
Then…. finances changed, as do things in life and I began working summers. We gave up our season tickets to the Patriots and were blessed to spend two fall seasons at Abakee. That was heaven!! During that time, I was fully engaged with the new school year and intensive coursework at RIC. Many a weekend was spent doing schoolwork with a gorgeous view. Although Friday traffic was a beast, it was wonderful looking forward to “our fall place” and our boat every weekend. It sure made the workweek bearable, knowing that every Friday meant getting away.
Then Al’s scheduled changed so he no longer had weekends free and I began taking classes at JWU. Thankfully, they finished in August of this year so for the first time in many years, I am not taking any courses to fill my free time with papers, projects, and presentations! Whew! Thank God! I’ve needed this break!
This year’s autumn is still busy with the new school year, following the Patriots (from home), involvement with the Madeira Club’s Ladies Auxiliary, weekly before school and after school meetings, and family things but it’s balanced with more domestic things that are keeping me busy but are enjoyable.
My latest endeavor is organic jam and jelly making and after receiving such positive feedback about my initial batches which I passed out to friends and family, I was encouraged to recoup some of the expense and sell it. Thus began Karen Jeanne Creations. Most of the cooking is done now because the peach, pear, and grape seasons are finished but I may be doing something with apples if it works out. It’s a lot of work but is a hobby that I’m enjoying.
I’ve also finally finished my first pair of knitted socks and look forward to having some more time to knit now that fall is here.
So, while the activities have shifted over the years, one thing remains… I’m usually busy, busy, busy!
PS.. I love fall!
So here we are on the eve of the 2013/2014 school year!!! It was a very quick summer; mostly because I worked ESY (extended school year) and only had one week off between the end and the start of the new school year. I attended classes all summer too which really cut into my free time. Regardless, I managed to read quite a bit in July despite working, class and painting at school.
I worked a lot at my club setting up, cleaning and serving at the festa and at the cigar dinner. Thankfully, the summer ended with the usual family getaway to Abakee Cottages and it was a fantastic week of family time and relaxation! I’m a bit emotional at the moment as the boy is actually flying back to Hawaii for his senior year of college as aI post this!
Now that summer is winding down, there’s lots of cooking and canning to do. I started in with my domestic duties yesterday but there’s still more to go. Sauce, jelly, jam, salsa, etc.. I love me some organic produce!!!
Tomorrow is another new year with yet another new administrative team…sigh…! I’m really tired of this and I’m giving it a year and will see what happens. As for me, I’ll be giving 100%+ as always and am ready to take on the challenge of bettering myself and being the best teacher that I can be!
Here we are again…. my favorite time of the year!! Although I will be going back to work three days a week starting next Tuesday (July 16th), I’m living and loving my summer life. I am very blessed to have been able to go to New Hampshire for a week on the lake as soon as I got out of school for the year. We had a fantastic time at Abakee once again.
Saturday was spent with Al’s extended family at their annual picnic. It was extremely hot.. can you say heat wave for all of July thus far… but it was a fantastic time.
This week has been one of little formal plans so I’m happy to get into a nice routine of doing a project each day. Monday, I thoroughly cleaned the porch. Tuesday, I weeded the entire yard and cleaned the refrigerator. Today, I’m going to do a bit more yardwork and housework before we head out to the boat when Al gets up.
I’ve been able to read a book a day, have been snuggling with the girlies, and have started a porch puzzle. Have I mentioned yet that I love my summer life?
There are different types of knitters in the world. Those that have multiple projects going and those that complete one at a time. I try to be a multiple WIP-per (Works In Progress) type but just can’t do it! I’m envious of all of the multiple project people! I’m a To Do List type and need to feel that sense of accomplishment by crossing something off the list. I just struggled through a long project and was determined to finish it. I made a lovely Strathcona scarf for the first time and in my haste, misread the pattern and knit half of it before realizing my mistake only when I started the second side and they didn’t match. So, I frogged it and began again. Also, the yarn was not the easiest to work with and my needles were junky and horrible. But… I powered through and finished because I was determined to do it and just couldn’t quit! I love the way it turned out and I believe I will especially enjoy wearing it because of all the effort that went into it.
Once I finished that project I treated myself to a quick knit.. another Gap-tastic cowl that I’ve made before and can do with my eyes closed. I needed to do something easy and fast after the last project.
My latest cast-on is a new hat pattern, Drizzle by my favorite knitting podcaster, Mel Ski, and I began it last night. I am also going to try to cast on something else during this long weekend, which goes against my natural inclination but I have been asked to knit a few things for others and will try to go outside my comfort zone. Wish me luck!
PS… This is my “trying out Continental knitting method” project because there’s a lot of stockinette. Knitting in the round means all knit and no purl.
I’m one of those kinds of people who is a goal setter and a list maker. Coming into the vacation week, I had a lot of things on my To Do list related to my class and final presentation and paperwork for my job. Instead of going away on vacation like we usually do, we stayed home. This week was fantastic because I broke down all of my tasks and laid them out over the week allowing the final weekend open for leeway and to relax. Here it is Sunday and I’m able to say that I completed everything and am reading for pleasure and catching up on DVR’d shows today while getting those final snuggles with the girlies in. Tonight, I will organize my work items, get my clothes and lunch ready and will turn in early. I’m hoping to have a good night’s sleep tonight and I’m ready to start off fresh.
So glad to not only work but relax and rejuvenate as well.