just a few things

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This past week, for the first time since moving here, I felt truly harried by our schedule. Working at home provides me with much needed flexibility, and I am glad for it, particularly as we settle into this new home. I was able to throw on a hoodie yesterday morning and swing by the old house to help J lift some of the heavier things we left for last, and then stop to mail some packages before coming home to start my work day while he and the girls went to story hour. The peril of having that flexibility however is the tendency to pack more into our week than I can really handle, necessary though it all may be. I am relieved that there is nothing official on the calendar for tomorrow.

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1. Last weekend, we met some wonderful friends at the corn maze for fall family time. It was cold, and we were bundled in hats and mittens. We had six little ones with us aged four and under, and an eleven year old. There was a piggy and a calf to look at, and a team of oxen pulling a cart to ride in. We took Swee into the corn maze, and she was pumped to run ahead and choose our path. And then we lost her. I was in a panic. Thankfully our friends found her, but then we all got lost. It felt like it took forever to get the heck out of the cornfield, and I won’t willingly do that again any time soon.

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We went back to the same place this morning to pick pumpkins. The tractor took us out to the field where Swee declared she would only choose a clean pumpkin. Talk about a tall order. We finally found one that met her approval, but it was an interesting experience.

2. Sweebee’s nursery school hosted a spaghetti dinner on Friday night, which was a nice chance to interact with her teachers. They had been asking families to donate pasta and sauce over the past few weeks, and we took a jug of juice to share. The children had made placemats for the tables, and the pre-K group designed centerpieces.

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3. Today, I finally dealt with the bag of apples we picked in the other yard, how many weeks ago? Some were no good. Others were perfect down to the middle where the core was rotten. I sliced and peeled and salvaged enough to make one pie filling, which is now in the freezer, and a batch of crockpot applesauce, which is currently simmering on the counter. I followed the basic Better Homes & Gardens recipe for the pie filling, minus the nutmeg. It works really well to freeze it, and then thaw just before baking in a single crust pie. We usually do a crumb top – it’s easier, and J actually prefers it. I’ve never tried making applesauce this way, so I’m curious to see how it turns out.

4. I asked our new neighbors if their chickens would enjoy all the apple peels and cores, and they invited us to come over and feed them. Beans and I walked down to their driveway with an enamelware pan full of bits and pieces. She got to push chunks of apple through the fence, and did a lot of pointing. I learned a little more about the birds, and got some insider info on the pigs they raise. We left with a promise of eggs and a “bye-bye bock bock!”

5. I’ve got a blanket I’d like to finish hemming tomorrow, and two trick-or-treat bags to make. I couldn’t get the homemade costumes together this year. It was just too much. The projects were really weighing on me, thinking about ideas and patterns and what we have that I could re-purpose, and then Thursday I just decided it wasn’t going to happen. I shouldn’t have been surprised to feel the weight lift, but I was, and it did. And now we have two purchased costumes hanging in the laundry room – one is secondhand, and the other is half new, half thrifted. Honestly, at $25, I probably spent less than I would have trying to make them myself.

I’m going to unplug for the rest of the night with a cup of Tazo cocoa mint mate and a book. And I couldn’t be happier.

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