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Showing posts from November, 2008


I am currently living in a series of countdowns. These can be seen in two ways:

1. Impending explosions
2. Launching new and exciting things

My current countdowns vary from work stuff (upcoming events, one single full work week until January, projects to be completed before 2009, etc.) to house stuff (two guests coming, multiple party/events, necessary winter cleaning/decorating, etc.) to personal stuff (travel, doctors appointments, choir rehearsals, etc.).

All in all, my life is about to become junior-year-at-USC-busy (when I was: coaching two volleyball teams, president of the Honors College student body, RA for the CMC, working in Columbia Hall, taking 18+ hours a semester, planning my senior thesis, teaching Sunday school and occasionally attempting to have a life - among other, regular college things).

I'm a little nervous about the impending schedule. There is so much going on in the next two months (which you'll be hearing about AFTER it happens for the most part) and I&…

Making Apple Butter

Or: Apples in Iowa Volume 2

See previous post for the first day of fun in Iowa.

So Saturday morning we got up early and were working in the apple butter by 8:30 a.m. Here are some groggy morning shots.

It was a bit foggy outside.

Over by the giant cauldron (seriously, Voldemort could have come out of that thing it is so big), Caroline's parents were already really absorbed in the apple butter.

Some interesting tidbits about making the apple butter in the cauldron (fine, giant copper kettle):
The flames need to be hot and high enough to get it boiling, but not high enough to scald the butter to the bottom.It needs to be constantly stirred to assure there is no burning or sticking to the sides or bottom, or it can mess up the flavor of the batch.We put pennies on the bottom of the kettle (from before they stopped making pennies out of things that weren't copper, so no worries), so the stir stick could really keep everything from cementing on the bottom.This process can take 4 to 8 ho…

And You Thought Iowa was all Corn

I finally made a trip out to see Caroline in Iowa, and this is the first of a couple of photoblogs to show you about my exciting vacation.

Caroline's sorority house at Palmer Chiropractic (above) and another sorority house across the street (below). Loving the architecture.

On the road as we turned towards the "farm" in Tiffin.

Once we arrived at the house, we got right to work making applesauce. We'd need it the next day for apple butter. I spent most of my time using the squeez-o and cranking boiled apple quarters (below).

We filled each and every one of those 3 and five gallon pots with sauce before the end of the day (above). Don't you just love the fashionable apron I got to wear? (below)

After all the saucing, it was time to kick back. Caroline's dad prepped the fire we'd use in the morning for the apple butter and Caroline and I had s'more fun (below).

Our marshmallows roasting on actual roasting sticks - as opposed to real sticks from the yard …

October Optics

And here now is a visually interesting version of October.

Mt. Vernon at twilight, before we had partaken of the fabulous wine tent.

The view of the Potomac from the back side of the mansion, still sunset, obviously.

My wine glass in front of the seasonal decorations at probably the fourth or fifth table.

And mid-month, Dana came to visit from Wisconsin.

We had lunch with Bill and Mason in the cemetery at Christ Church in Old Town. A favorite luncheon spot of mine (above). And then had a little photo-shoot afterwards because for some reason we are rarely in pictures together (below).

We went to the Sports Pub to watch the Gamecocks vs. LSU game. There weren't enough chairs for the twelve or so people who showed up for our table, so she was on my lap for a portion of the night (above). Below, she's with her friends from Madison who happened to be in DC the same time as her (from left to right, Scott, Dana, Luke, Damon).

Afterwards, we went back to the townhouse for a commiseration …

Boo, Malcolm Forbes, boo

The quote that just came up on my quote wheel was:

"Failure is success if we learn from it." ~Malcolm Forbes

I am currently on a campaign of resisting what has become (over the past couple years) a regular habit of mine. I would say that the most recent manifestation of this habit was a particularly large failure - and one that cost me many months of agonizing. I comforted myself primarily by reassuring myself that I had learned a lot in the process.

So, faced with falling into this habit (obviously not the best one ever), I'm doing my best to resist.

And, I don't really like it.

It's like resisting chocolate. Who wants to do that? Chocolate is pretty delicious.

So then I see quotes like Mr. Malcolm's and am reminded that I'm supposed to be resisting. Well boo to you Malcolm Forbes, boo to you being right and reminding me why I'm doing this anyway.

But I'm not giving up chocolate. At least not while doing this too.

Love always, ~Heather

September Shots

I feel pretty bad about not blogging consistently over the past couple of weeks (um, okay, months). But it is National Blog Posting Month and this is really my motivation to get blogging. So, I'm a few weeks late ... eh, I'm late with everything lately. This is not a characteristic I'm okay with, but I'm going to do my penance in a series of photoblogs over the next couple of days (finally having downloaded some of the pictures off my camera and from my email).

So here, from the superbly-stupendous September, I present, my missing blog posts in photos.

Foggy Bottom (above) and Georgetown University (below) while sitting in traffic on the Key Bridge on my way to rehearsal for the gospel choir concert mid-month. Foggy Bottom shot includes (left to right) the Watergate Hotel, Washington Monument and Kennedy Center.

The townhouse, with our (unintentional) front-yard-jungle. Over 10 foot tall sunflowers, zinnia at around 4 feet, morning glories taking over the gate, and a re…