Homemade Apple Cider (& a change of plans)

Happy first day of October!!!

Homemade Apple Cider

I feel like it’s finally fall! For reals. Because it’s cool and it’s cloudy.

Unfortunately, it was also very wet and rainy, so Seth and I weren’t able to go to a local apple orchard like we’d planned. I was so looking forward to walking Edgar through the pumpkin patch and splitting an apple cider doughnut with Seth (plus, all the Instagram photos ops? Hello! Live for them!).

Homemade Apple Cider

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Beer Mustard (& polka)

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I’ve got to say it.

Homemade Beer Mustard

Disneyland is not the happiest place on Earth.

Oh, no. Not even close

The happiest place on Earth is any bar, brewery, or beer hall where there is live polka. Where revelers are clad in lederhosen, hoisting their glasses in the air – shouts of “Prost!” all around.

Because, here’s the thing – it’s impossible to be unhappy when polka is playing.

Homemade Beer Mustard

Just ask the woman I saw at work last night. She came in with the sourest look on her face – all pinched and pouting, looking annoyingly aggravated. But then. Then! Tuba Dan started to play.

The rhythmic “bump, bump, bump,” of his song circled the room. It came up through the floor, vibrating the old wooden boards. It moved into toes, knees, and legs, impossibly infectious. Customers swayed on their barstools, following the rhythm, singing the lyrics they’d known for years. These songs are well-known, well-loved; a staple at every church picnic, Oktoberfest, and wedding reception from here to Waupaca.

Homemade Beer Mustard

I watched this woman – this angry woman – watched her shift from one foot to the other, her eyes scanning the menu. I watched her face soften, her head move back and forth. I watched her lips spread into a smile, her shoulders bounce up and down. She ordered her beer, sat down and enjoyed the end of the song.

“…Roll out the barrel, for the gang’s all here!”

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Homemade Vanilla Extract (& gifts)

I’m way behind.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I usually have Christmas presents bought and buttoned up by now. Or, at least started. I begin shopping – little by little, piece by piece – in the summertime. I’m normally working my way down a list that was made in the spring.

I’d like to think I do it this way because I’m so thoughtful and giving and generous. That my gift giving was borne within me, it’s a part of me, it cannot be denied for 12 months out of the year and so, I must shop early and shop often. How else can I uphold the claim that I am like Leslie Knope when it comes to presents?

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Sure, it’d be nice if that were the case. In all actuality, I start shopping that early because I don’t like seeing my bank account take such a wallop the last six weeks before Christmas. If I spend the money slowly over a longer period of time, it doesn’t hurt so badly.

But, this year has been a crazy one for me (Umm…October is next week? What?!). I’ve had a lot going on that hasn’t involved shopping. Which is kind of crazy. Because I love shopping! And all things Christmas related!

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How To: Season a Cast Iron Skillet

You ever just date someone who is so wrong for you? From the get go? There are signs it’s not going to work, obvious reasons they’re not the one, red flags popping up left and right.

I’ve ignored those sings and reasons before. Breezed right on by those red flags. It’s almost a right of passage – to chase, pursue, and date a dude that isn’t a good choice. Most women I know have done it. And are better for it. Because what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

My Cast Iron Skillet, before

One dude in particular made me so strong that by now I should be able to lift a Buick over my head. Game playing, antagonizing, ignoring, disrespecting. The whole nine yards. But I was young, I thought I could get him to change.

I was an idiot.

The final nail in the coffin was when I saw how he treated his grandmother’s cast iron skillet. If he was disrespectful to me then what he did to this poor pan was unconscionable.

We had cooked burgers over a fire in the backyard (because A: his kitchen was disgusting beyond belief and B: he wasn’t sensible enough to own a working grill) and afterwards he left the pan outside. For three days. While it rained.

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Pupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (& Legally Blonde)

Today is a very special day.

Today, my light, my love, my furbaby, Edgar, turns three!!!

You know that scene in Legally Blonde where Elle is going through orientation at Harvard Law and introduces herself and Bruiser and says, “I’m Elle Woods. And this is Bruiser Woods. We’re both Gemini vegetarians!” I identify with that scene so much. (I actually identify with a lot of that movie and think it’s one of the best of our generation, but that’s another post for another time!)

I often talk about Edgar (duh), and I often repeat the phrase “We’re both brown-eyed Aries!” at some point during my monologue about my mutt. It is so fitting of who and how we are as a pair.

I know, I know, the shelter I got him from almost certainly didn’t know his exact birthdate. It’s highly possible/probable they just picked a date at random – but I’m sticking with March 23 as the day this world was graced with his presence. He’s too much of an Aries not to be. And I’m too far into my psychosis to be told otherwise.

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