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52 Questions #11 Hobbies Part 2

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Second week in March, more on hobbies!

I think I do dabble  bit in a lot of different hobbies. Aside from reading (as mentioned last week) and being obsessed over the TV shows I watch, I also like to make collages, cross stitch, and make digital art. I’ve been making magazine collages since I was a kid. Not that I’m very good at it, but I think it’s fun. Cross stitch I’m ok at, just really slow. And digital art…mostly that’s related to the TV show I’m currently obsessed with. I’ve been working on the same cross stitch for over 10 years now. I just don’t put the time into it that I need to to make have it done faster.

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Thankful Tuesday 1/31/17

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  1. Birthdays-My daughter turns 10 this week. My baby is growing up. Double digits, can’t turn back now. But her excitement is enchanting. Makes me excited for my next birthday.
  2. Temples-In my religion (I’m LDS, or Mormon) we have our regular meeting houses, and we have tempels. The temple is considered the house of the Lord. They are sacred places. When I am there, I feel peace unlike that which can be felt anywhere else in earth.
  3. Shoes-Having spent time barefoot in places that being barefoot is not the best idea (have tou ever walked on asphalt in the desert in the summer?) Having shoes, or access to them, I’d not something to take for granted. And something that I am very thankful for.
  4. Books-Text books, cook books, novels. They are all amazing.
  5. Movies-Timeless entertainment for the masses.
  6. Cookies-All sorts, types and sizes
  7. Girl scout cookies-especially thin mints
  8. Toes-Did you know that without tows, walking is exponentially more difficult? We rely on on them for balance. I am grateful for my toes.
  9. Music-because it fills my soul with joy.
  10. Repentance-Because I am not perfect.

Thankful Tuesday 1/24/17

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It’s that time again. Too look over and review the things in my life that I am grateful for.

  1. Warm Blankets-a warm, fuzzy blanket is one of the best things in the world on a chilly night.
  2. Socks-especially soft socks, and “fun” socks with super heroes and polka dots.
  3. Netflix-a life saver when you don’t have good reception and don’t want to pay for cable.
  4. Cookies-I made cookies recently. Just because I could. And it’s Girl Scout cookie season, which is by far one of my favorite times of the year.
  5. Music-religious and secular. I often have a song running through my head and have been known to boast that I know a song for every circumstance.

52 Questions #4 Goals part 3

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For 2017, the LDS Church has published several different lists to help you start sharing stories of your life. I am partaking in that “challenge”. One post a week, every Sunday, for the whole year. The challenge and the prompts in their various forms can be found here.

This weeks question is also about goals

I will be the first to tell you that I am not good about making and keeping to goals and resolutions. I tend to get complacent, or forget. But, even from that there is a lesson to learn from my struggles. Never give up. If a goal is worth reaching, it can be done, no matter how long it takes. I started back to school in 2007. I graduated with my masters degree in 2016. It may have taken me a bit longer than most people, but I did it. I set a goal and I stuck with it. And I made it.

A compilation of my questions and answers can be found here

52 Questions #3 Goals Part 2

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For 2017, the LDS Church has published several different lists to help you start sharing stories of your life. I am partaking in that “challenge”. One post a week, every Sunday, for the whole year. The challenge and the prompts in their various forms can be found here.

Another question on goals

I am actively working towards my one goal of being a better person. First, I am writing out these responses. I am trying to watch what I eat and exercise more. I’ve gone out with my kids and gone for walks several times in the last few days. And I am participating in my work health and fitness challenge. Sadly, I’ve not been doing well in that this week. I often snack without thinking, and that is one of the things that that challenge tells you not to do. Still, tomorrow is a new day, and I know I can do it.

A compilation of my questions and answers can be found here.

Thankful Tuesday 1/10/17

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Here we are again. My gratitude list from this past week:

  1. Health-I am a relatively healthy adult, I have health insurance (not the best, but still decent), and more importantly, I can access health care should I need it.
  2. Gas (for the car)-with out access and money to purchase gas for my car, having that nice car I mentioned last week would be pointless.
  3. Fast food-how many times have I gotten home late from work and just not had the energy to cook? Fast food (in many forms) has saved me.
  4. Libraries-I’m typing part of this list from a local public library. Where I have access to books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and a whole host of other media or free. Just for living where I do.
  5. Internet-a whole world at my finger tips. How amazing is that?
  6. WiFi. While I’m on the subject, how awesome is it not to be tethered to a wall just to go on line? My son likes to say that people who say they can’t live without WiFi are silly, because you can still hard wire a computer to get online. But I do love me some good WiFi.
  7. Cellphones-I remember a day when the only phones were wired into your house. When the term “land line” was unheard of because those were the only phones we knew. I remember when cellphones only made calls. Could I live without my phone? Maybe, but I wouldn’t want to.
  8. Computers-I’m sensing a technological themed list here. I remember in elementary school using an old Apple 2E to play “Number Munchers” and “Oregon Trail”. Oh those old green and black monitors. And now, my cellphone has more processing power. There’s an old movie I watch called “Desk Set” with Katharine Hepburn. They were worried about getting replaced with a giant (and I mean giant) computer. The information they had to store in that thing…and now it can all be found on Wikipedia and Google Books. I love my computer and am thankful that I can afford one.

Mulled Apple Cider Jelly

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I have been making jam on my own for probably close to 13 or more years. As such, I’ve finally developed the confidence to experiment with flavors and such in my recipes. I opened the cupboard the other day and pulled out the last jar of cherry jam that I made earlier this summer. It was a sad day. I loved that jam, made with local cherries even. But, I knew that I needed more jam, and as much as I love the jam made by the lady who sells at the local farmers market, at $4 a jar it’s just not economically feasible. Especially when my family eats about a half pint of jam a week (give or take). We go through an equally large amount of peanut butter. There are worse things we could be eating I’m sure.

Knowing that we are not in peak growing season for many of the fruits that I usually use to make my jam, I decided to take a trip down the local juice aisle at the grocery store. I’d thought that I might make cranberry jelly and pomegranate jelly, both of which I knew I could find in 100% juice, something that is required when I’m making jam (or jelly). But as I was walking through the grocery store, the fresh pressed apple cider caught my attention.

It’s apple season, there’s bushels of apples at every farmers market stall, and the varieties are truly stunning. But my favorite part of the season is the cider that is cold pressed usually at the same orchards that grow the fruit. I knew that I had to take advantage of the fresh juice (and on sell for less than $6 a gallon!) and make some cider jelly. The only problem was, that I couldn’t find a ready made recipe that seemed to hit the spot for me. So, I decided to make my own.

I’ve never made my “own” jam before, I’ve always followed tired and true recipes, either from the box of pectin or off a trusted website. But this time I figured I could do it on my own. I modified the basic apply jelly recipe found in my box of pectin and man did it turn out great!

Only problem I had was that my biggest pot wasn’t big enough to actually hold the whole recipe at a full rolling boil. I ended up having to take it off the heat early and loosing over a cup of jelly to the underbelly of my stove. Truly a sad thing, but not too sad, I still ended up with over 10 cups of jelly (or syrup because, again, it didn’t cook long enough and didn’t quite set up). I’m going to give the basic directions for jam/jelly making here, but if you want to know how to “properly” process your jam in a boiling water bath, you can read up on them here.

Mulled Apple Cider Jelly

6 1/2 cups cold pressed fresh apple cider
1/2 cup not from concentrate orange juice
1 box regular pectin
2 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
7 cups regular granulated sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar

Mix juice, spices, and pectin in a large pot on the stove. Measure out the sugar into a separate container. Prepare your jars, lids, and rings. Heat the juice mixture over high heat stirring constantly until mixture reaches a full rolling boil. Add the sugar all at once and continue stirring until mixture again reaches a full rolling boil. Cook for one minute stirring constantly and the remove from heat. Ladle into prepared jars and process as desired.

I recommend eating this warm with warm fresh bread and a little butter. But then, that’s the way I think you should eat all fresh jam. Also good on pancakes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.