Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I'm up to right now

Pumping (to donate) as I type. Trying to hurry up so I can nurse Ivy, who just woke up...

Old Job

I'm teaching freshman composition again this semester. Between teaching, taking care of four children, and the demands of everyday life, my free time is close to nonexistent. The kids are all asleep by 7:30-8 pm, so I have a 2-hour window of time to "get stuff done." In the summers, this means reading books or checking emails. During the school year, this means grading papers and prepping for class.

Oh, and did I mention that Ivy wakes up every 2 hours at night? I'm also really tired. 

New Job

I took on a new job this summer: renovating on a historic property in town. It was originally a 2-family side-by-side home built in 1900. Several decades ago, each home was split into two apartments, making 4 total. I was hired to oversee all aspects of the renovations, since the property owner lives across the country.

I get to do fun stuff like choose finishes and paint colors or visit antique stores for light fixtures and doorknobs...and the less glamorous stuff like decide when to tear down a wall or when to keep the original flooring versus when it's not able to be salvaged.

We are keeping as many of the historic details and original finishes as possible. The kitchens and bathrooms all needed to be completely renovated, though. Don't you love the granite tile countertops and the mosaic tile backsplash?

This property is amazing--or rather, it will be when we're done. Here are some before and after pictures from the first two apartments, both on the ground floor.

Apartment #1 Before:

Apartment #1 After:

Apartment #2 Before:

Apartment #2 After:

Now that these two downstairs apartments are finished and rented, we're working on the upstairs apartments. One will be done by early November, the other by early December. 

Apples Everywhere

I have hundreds of pounds of organic apples that I picked from a friend's tree or that were given to me. I've been making applesauce. I have a new respect for home canning. It's so much work! So far I've put up 42 quarts and still have tons of apples left.


  1. I just spent two days doing applesauce with some girlfriends. I think it is meant to be done in groups - way more fun! Do you have a Victorio strainer? It was my first time seeing one in action, but it was awesome. No more peeling and coring apples! We just quartered them, cooked them, and put them in the Victorio. If you haven't got one, look into it. Saves so much time!

    The after photos are beautiful

    1. I have my mom's old Victorio, so that's been a great help. The kids love turning the crank. Just still so much work involved from start to finish...and never enough space or enough pots.

  2. My applesauce method is a little less labor intensive than the usual. I cut up the apples without peeling them, put them in a big pot and steam them until they're mush, then puree with an immersion blender to deal with the skins. I freeze the applesauce rather than canning it.

  3. We have a zillion apples from our apple trees...and our trees are not even that mature. Yipes! We made a bunch of applesauce (froze most of it instead of canning because it was faster), dehydrated a bunch of apple slices, donated a bunch to our school's preschool class, and gave some to our school's Harvest Festival for cider pressing. And we still have some left!

    I love canning but it does take some time, and I don't always have the time or energy needed to fully use up my cherries or my apples.

    I'm thinking those preschoolers may benefit from some more apples. ;-)

  4. I don't know how you do it, I want free time too but my free time at night is sucked by tidying up and prepping for dinner, like pre-cutting, grocery lists, etc.


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