Sunday, September 6, 2015

Beginnings: school, running, tomatoes, and some crochet

Rather than thinking that the summer has come to an end, I've accepted this time change as "School begins!"
This year we have a Freshman, 6th and 4th graders.  A friend asked what grade I was in, so... after 12HS + 5BS + 5MS + 18 years teaching... I am in 40th grade. ;)
The morale around the 7-12 wing is on the up-n-up; we have new administration, and so far, the change has been for the better!  We are so hopeful and optimistic!!!!  It feels good to be hopeful again!

I've even started running again!!!!
Mind you, PART of that decision came when I organized my closet two weeks ago, trying EVERY item on.  I parted with quite a bit, but also added a lil' bit due to a Goodwill shopping spree.  SOME of my pants are a bit too snuggy-snug right now, so...... back to running to burn that lil' layer of pudgy-pudge!


The face on the picture really says most of it so far;  :\.  I really haven't run a training program for the past two years, so I'm 100% back to square-1.  Many walks, and slow pace... perhaps I'll get back down to my 9:30/mile average that I ran in 2013 for one of my half-marathons.
Baby steps for now...

 Last weekend a small collection of tomatoes were ripe for the picking, and I made up a batch of salsa.  After a week of HEAT and HEAT and more HEAT, mixed with loads of HUMIDITY, our tomatoes started taking off.  (um yah, that heat in a classroom with zero AC this past week ---- UGGGERS!)

Caitlyn and I gathered up what was ripe;  it ended up being a decent ~70 pounds, with lots more out on the plants yet!     Since the heat is still barring down on us, I was NOT interested in having the stove/oven on for much of the weekend in order to reduce these babies down to a sauce, so instead... Vegetable juice was the plan!  We'll save the sauce-making for next weekend with our next ripe pickings; it looks like this heat is finally breaking this week.  Whew!

I have a few different varieties out there:  Abe Lincoln, Polish Linguisa, Red Oxheart, Viva Italia (my FAVORITE for sauce), and a few IDK heirlooms that we received as seed from our neighbor two years ago.  We've planted a few of the 'mystery seeds' each year since we've had them;  they make LARGE tomatoes.  I didn't weigh any last year, but I want to believe that this is close to the largest we've had.  There have been two others I've weighed as well:  one was 1 lb 10oz, the other was 1 lb 12 oz.    It doesn't take many of those tomatoes to add up to a lot of juice in a little time.  ;)

After the morning of processing, we filled two full cases of quarts of Vegetable juice (tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, parsley, peppers).  We no longer preserve straight tomato juice; we prefer the flavor of the veggie juice.  My in-laws like using the juice in Bloody Marys; I'm not much of a fan, but I LOVE using this juice throughout the year for Chili!

I'm SO thankful for the long holiday weekend;  it's always nice having a slow 4-day week start to the school year;  this year we have TWO 4-day weeks to start since we didn't start until this past Tuesday, Sept. 1.
I've used a bit of the available time to organize a bunch of my recent crochet finishes in order to have them ready for my MIL and some craft fairs she'll be participating in.

Lots of 100% USA-grown cotton washcloths;  8" and 10" with a couple 7"x9".

Bath Poufs have been a new addition to my collection: small and large sizes

Hats have also been a new addition this year, in a variety of sizes ranging from youth M to adult S.

A bunch of the frilly yarn was still sitting on my shelves, so I found time to get those made into the frilly scarves, plus I still have some left;  I may just bite the bullet to buckle down and clear this yarn out completely.

However, I really really really am thinking of getting downstairs into the sewing room later today.  It's been a month since I've quilted!  If not even longer!  I've fallen behind in the RSC'15, and I can't let Andee down seeing that we decided to team up in a project together :D  And my Smith Mountain Morning in greens is still sitting, waiting for its 14th hour of progress.

For those in the USA, I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend!!!  For everyone else, I hope you are enjoying your Sunday afternoon before heading back to the workweek tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!


katie z. said...

Wow, you were crazy busy! The pink and purple variegated yarn is one of my very favorite. Our tomato harvest was the pits this year, but my dad's are great so I'm freezing his to can later. School sounds like it will be good too.

Alycia said...

Is your daughter in the back really that tall? such a beatiful family!! And good for you for getting back to running. I will egg you on lol - I have started walking a lot for the same reasons ( but the running.... hmmm)

Enjoy your quilting today!

scraphappy said...

Happy back to school. It is a shift, but the new routine will seem "normal" again before you know it. Way to go on the running! Maybe you will motivate me to get back into the routine again. It is just starting to cool down enough here to enjoy some outside time.

Linda said...

Great picture of you and the kids. I hope y'all have a good year. You have really been busy with everything this year. Food, animals, crochet, kids, running and quilting. I am impressed. I'm doing a little bit of all of that except the running. All of your crochet work looks great. Have fun.

gayle said...

Well, I hope you get some time to relax and sew! (And not just because I want to watch you work on Smith Mountain Morning...) 8)

jmniffer said...

glad you got to sew!