Last week, my sister in law gave me a bunch of apples – like, a bunch. Usually, I’d find an occaision to make pie with them, but a) I haven’t really been in the mood for pie, b) we aren’t entertaining any time soon (and pie to me says “party!” or “picnic”). It was time to figure out what to do with them, before they got too fragrant and not edible.
I did some thinking – apple butter? Too gross for words. Fritters? Too fattening. Individual, take along mini-pies? Too Martha.
Applesauce sounded just about right, but I was a little worried because I’d bought some applesauce while I was pregnant and it just sat in the refrigerator for months. (I swear, I’m not the scarey food-lady from Hoarders, but I’m worried that one day I’ll be playing her on TV). I went ahead and made some this weekend, and it was gone by last night.
I used a recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking – which is now one of my new favorite blogs. I followed it exactly, cooked for about six hours and just mashed everything with a fork. Personally, I liked it better after it sat in the fridge for a day vs. warm, but Jason was a big fan of the warm version. The best part is, that since its in the crockpot, you pretty much just had to peel the apples, cut them up and shove them in, then try not to forget about them 6 hours later.
As I mentioned yesterday, before the baby was born I cobbled together a list of crafty/maker(y) oriented stuff I wanted to start learning after the baby was born and I regained the use of my hands. I found this list the other day, and in the interest of starting to actually use it, I thought I’d start organizing and sharing it. If you’ve done anything on the list and have some ideas or thoughts on where/how to get started, by all means – share away.
I’ve decided that I want to organize it into categories, and instead of having a HUUUUGE list, and getting totally intimidated, I culled it down to 10 things that I believably can do or try by the end of this year. This isn’t about patterns I want to do, but techniques I want to try, or new things I want to learn how to do.
- Use my “crazy yarn” to create a blanket or throw – damm the way it looks!
- Knit something with beads
- Make a skein of coiled yarn longer than 20 yards – and use it
- Make yarn with beads (not to be used in item 2 above – that’s for attaching beads to non-beaded yarn)
- Prep my raw alpaca
- Make myself a dress I wouldn’t be ashamed to leave the house in
- Make homemade ice cream
- Make freezer jam
- Make paper
- Etch glasses
I know it sounds crazy – but I miss the whole “back to school” time that I got to feel as a kid and young adult. Even though it doesn’t feel like “back to school” here in Omaha, the kids are all back today. In Virginia, we didn’t go back until right after Labor Day, so I feel like I have a few more weeks to get ready, but I still miss the feeling. Mostly, I miss the possibility that a new school year always gave – new people (especially in Military & Government land that was VA), new subjects (once a nerd, always a nerd) and a new schedule – dance classes, girl scout meetings, etc, all started up again, setting up a schedule and learning to live with it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about schedules lately, because yet again our schedule got out of wack – my parents came into town for AJ’s baptism, I then got a stomach virus, then Jason took off work for two days and we spent four days at the lake. It seems like every time I get into a groove – so to speak – something happens to knock it off. Obviously, having a baby is one big schedule adjustment, but every time we worked out something resembling “normal” we’d have visitors, which – no matter how hard you try, messes with your routine.
Now that we don’t have anything “big” planned from now until the end of September or early October, when I plan to hit DC, I’m planning on adopting a “back to school” approach to our schedule – find a routine, make a routine, and stick to it as much as possible. (Note: One reason I enjoy having a routine so much is to be able to deviate from it – something I’ve long adhered to…nothing is more fun that having a relatively structured schedule and then blowing it off to read a good book).
I also want to focus on learning some new things. Before AJ was born, I made a list of stuff I wanted to learn and do with him, and my next goal is to find it and clean it up so I can get moving on learning some new crafty things (and have some stuff to share) and having some adventures to write about. He’s already really active and pretty fascinated with what he can see in the world around him, so I want our new routine to incorporate doing new things.
I did finish a project – finally – that was well worth it, and I’ll be talking about it soon (once I get pictures).
While I’ve been busy with the baby there have been some great posts out and around that have been incredibly inspiring:
- The Long Thread has some great posts about summer reading crafts – crafts you can do with kids based on books that you read. I can’t wait to do something like this with the boy! (via craftgossip)
- My friend Clay has a great blog called The Bitten Word – and this recipe for Asiago Stuffed Bacon probably takes the cake from last month. Of course, their freezer jam is something I plan on trying too.
- I totally plan on doing some etched glass for presents for Christmas. I know what I’m doing and for who, now I just have to try it! But these jars are a great idea!
- I don’t crochet, but Craft Leftovers Face Cloth/Cat Cape made me snarf.
Help me out here, gang. I’m working on a new project (besides the baby) to keep me busy and I need some help. What’s the craziest “woo”/old wive’s tale/crazy theory you heard while pregnant? Hit me up via Twitter @tothepoints, or below in the comments.
For those of you who aren’t clear on what “woo” is, here’s a good definition from Skeptico:
“ideas that are irrational and not based on evidence commensurate with the extraordinary nature of the claim. These are ideas that usually rely on magical thinking, are rarely tested to see if they are real, and are usually resistant to reason and contrary evidence.”
For example, I was told (by a nurse, no less) that babies who won’t breastfeed turn out to be “wierd” in the long run.
About three weeks ago, I finally finished the Op Art baby blanket I’d been working on for the baby. The pattern is totally beautiful when completed, but the actual process wasn’t one I’d like to do again any time soon – a lot like pregnancy, now that I think about it. Don’t attempt this blanket unless you:
a) Really, REALLY love doing rounds and rounds of both knit and purl (blanket is knit in the round, and to get the garter stitch effect, you have to do alternating rows of knit and purl)
b) Go against the pattern and do it in stockinette stitch.
c) Are ready to be working on it for quite some time.
I never thought I’d finish it, and finally, I made the executive decision to cut it short – I stopped about 4 color change rows prior to the patterns end. Good thing I did, as it is HUUUGE! It would have totally dwarfed the baby had I gone ahead with it.
About a week after I finished the blanket (early, due to stopping pre-pattern end) I got a case of something called PUPPPs, a skin rash that only 1 in 150 pregnant women get. (Note: I am not linking to anything on it, and I don’t encourage you to Google it. Let’s just say it isn’t pretty or fun, and leave it at that. We’ll all be happier for it.) It spreads rapidly, and ends up being miserable. My doctor encouraged me to induce labor, so on the 27th of May we decided to induce on the 2nd.* We actually ended up going in a day early, thanks to the busy schedule in labor and delivery. Long story short, after 27 hours in labor, we decided to do a c-section**. The result? A 7 pound, 14 oz baby boy named Alpheus John Oberdin. We’re calling him AJ. Isn’t he cool?
I’m just getting the energy to blog and knit and move around again – not only was this my first baby, but also my first surgery (unless you count the time they popped a cyst in my hand, which I don’t). Happily, I’m getting better and he’s getting bigger.
*Best decision ever. By the day I got induced, the rash had moved from my stomach to my arms. During labor, it had moved to my back, my legs and my feet. I don’t know how I would have gone another week.
**Second best decision ever. AJ was in cockeyed, couldn’t drop down and after the surgery they realized he’d not have come out the normal way.
Every weekend, I spend a little bit of time just playing online – looking at different things that are interesting, inspiring or cool from a design, crafty, or visual perspective. It gives me a little bit of focus for the week to come, and adds some ideas for things I’d like to try. (Of course, right now, everything I want to try is superceded by “Getting the baby out of me” – but I am keeping a list for things I want to do in the future.) Here’s some cool stuff I came by this week:
I tried salted hot chocolate, which was VERY good, so I’m going to try salted coffee, just to see if I like it. However, the commenter at the very bottom reminded me that I want to make some vanilla sugar, so I can change my regular sparkling water to vanilla creme soda (minus the storebought yuk taste).
If you haven’t been following The Object Project, you totally should be.
When I was a teenager, and we first moved back from Germany to the US, I remember flipping through channels and finding CSPAN. Realizing that it was a channel devoted to watching members of Congress talk to each other (remember, this is 1988 people) I just thought grownups were wierd and boring.
Now I’m the wierd, boring grownup, because I cant get enough of NASA’s Youtube chanel. Here’s the Hubble getting released from Atlantis: