The Concert

On Saturday I went to my first concert.

IT. WAS. AMAZING.

I am still in the happy-from-music stage.

The Script, American Authors, and OneRepublic.

I heard about this concert last Friday (just over a week before the concert), and at that point I knew only about 3 OneRepublic songs, only 1 American Authors song, and I had never heard of The Script.

But I have been wanting to go to a concert, and I thought OneRepublic would be fun to see. I looked up the concert that day, and saw there were still tickets available. So I talked to Dad, and we decided to listen to more of OneRepublic’s music, to see if we liked it enough to go.  We didn’t get around to listening to it until Tuesday.

On Monday night I made a semi-final decision not to go, and I texted my friend (who was talking about coming with us) and told her we weren’t going to go.

And that’s when I heard Counting Stars playing from my dad’s office.

I went downstairs to tell him I had changed my mind, but when I went down there, my mind was swayed.  After listening to more OneRepublic (and liking most of their songs), I changed my mind.  Dad came up later that day and said, “Hey, these guys are cool, I think we should go see them.”

So I texted my friend, and told her we were going.  We were able to get tickets that night.

And I could hardly wait.

Bethany and I had way too much fun together – we danced for a good part of the concert.  I was so very thankful to have someone to dance with!

I am not sure what else to write – it is hard to describe.  The skill the musicians have is amazing – I was so glad that they used a real piano.  Also, the guitarist played a mad guitar solo before Counting Stars.  SO.  AMAZING.

At one point, the microphone that OneRepublic’s main singer was using stopped working.  He played the intro to a song (a beautiful piano piece) and then when the song got to the place where it should start, he kept messing with his microphone. After a few moments, he starts singing, “My microphone wasn’t working, but now it does.”

There were several unusual instruments used – dobro, viola, cello, and banjo.  It just adds a neat edge. And for the last song, OneRepublic had 4 or 5 drums lined up across the front of the stage, and during instrumental portions of the song, they would play them. I am so not good at articulating this – it was great.

Well, I think I’ll quite trying now.

Except for one final thing:

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN AND AMAZING AND JUST…GAAAAAH.

I don’t feel like this post does my mood justice. But I am not that great with words.  Oh well.

Here are some photos.

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Bethany and I – American Authors playing in the background

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The Script

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Us and The Script. =)

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The Script had asked everyone to take out their cellphones, and it looked so cool.

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OneRepublic playing Secrets

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(Same as above)

Note: As with all things, if you are under your parent’s authority, don’t just take my word for it, make sure they are O.K. with it!  I do not necessarily endorse everything that these artists have done or put out.  Use discretion.

Nope, I Didn’t Die

I made it through last week, and most of this week.  Although this week’s been rough.  Hopefully that won’t last any more than a few more days.

So, basically, I got everything canned last week that I wanted to can.  With the exception of some tomatoes, which we ended up freezing, because I had been trying to do too much and had had a meltdown after several mishaps (lost 2 JARS to thermal cracking.  TWO JARS!  Man, that was tough).  So, last week I canned 4 pints and 1 half-pint of salsa verde (which Dad declared good), 4 half pint and one 4 oz. jar of raspberry jelly.  And 1 pint of pickled jalapenos (lost the half pint to thermal cracking).  Plus whatever I ended up doing on Monday (see previous post).

I am tired and slightly under the weather (a blah mood), so not a long post tonight.

Over the past two days I have begun working on my piano arrangement of Owl City’s Good Time!  It’s been pretty fun so far, but all I’m currently doing is figuring out chords and melody.  Once I finish that, the real fun begins – the actual arranging.  The chords appear to be basically the same throughout the whole song, and I have the first verse and chorus melody written out.  I might post a recording of it when it’s done, if anyone’s interested.  But that won’t be for awhile.  🙂

Well, I need to get myself off to bed (too many late nights + too many early mornings + too much sugar = one emotional and unhappy girl), so enjoy the photos.

Till next time!

~Allison

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Last Wednesday – What canning looks like when I have a bad day – all you need is a little Izze!  I LOVE that stuff.

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The salsa verde

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Saturday – the raspberry juice

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Making the jam/jelly

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Boiling

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Finished

 

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Today – arranging

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Canning

“I tried to be normal once.

Worst two minutes of my
life.”                             
-Unknown

I found this quote online the other day, and I thought it was pretty good.  Because I feel like I am pretty not normal.  🙂

I have been so busy the past few weeks, and this next week promises to be really busy, too.  The main cause of this is canning.  We’ve been canning peaches and tomatoes.  We purchased three bushels of peaches for ourselves two weeks ago (I think), and I have canned roughly 16 quarts and 2 pints over the past few weeks.  And that could increase.

Mom and I have been going to the farmer’s market and collecting tomatoes to can.  So far, we have 19 quarts and 2 pints.  And that could increase.

This morning Mom and I went up to a farm about 45 minutes north of us and purchased almost 50 lbs. of tomatoes, 7 lbs. of tomatillos, several pounds of potatoes, 9 melons (mostly yellow watermelons, but two were cantaloupes, and one was a snow leopard), and several sweet peppers.  Today we canned the vast majority of the tomatoes.  That made 12 quarts and 1 pint of the 19 quarts and 2 pints above.

I love canning.  But it is exhausting.

And so listed on my schedule this week:  wash dog, manage clothes, clean room, can chipotle peppers, can jalapenos, can tomatillos, can raspberry jam, work two afternoons, teach three piano lessons, and hopefully do some school.  Not on the schedule (but things that I’ll still have to do) practice piano and help with meals and other things at home.  It would be really nice if I could make my bed at least one day this week.  And it would be really nice if I could accomplish all this without dying.

Just kidding about the last part.

Things are a bit exciting around here.

Here are a few photos from canning peaches the other day.  Enjoy!

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Peaches being prepped for canning

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The canning/blanching set up:  the big black pot is the canner, the second pot is for blanching, the blue bowl is for iced water, the clear bowl is for the blanched and cooled peaches.

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Blanched, peeled peaches.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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Just look at those purty colors!

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Sliced and in the ascorbic acid solution

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In the jar in a light sugar solution

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I love how food looks in jars

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Practically ready to go into the canner (just have to put on one more lid)

Today’s Projects and a Caterpillar

I had quite a bit of kitchen time today.  And you know what that means:

BIG MESS!

Not exactly what I was talking about.  But, yes, that happens, too.

I made quite a few things.

First, I made enough lip balm to last me awhile.  I had no more in the fridge, so I had to make several more.  I think I made around a dozen.

I tried a total of three recipes, because I have new oils now.  I picked one recipe out, only to realize while I was making it that it was basically the same as the one I usually make.  So I tried out another one with shea butter, but it only made two, maybe three tubes.  So I tried this third recipe with cocoa butter.  And once I had gotten it in the tube, I was afraid that it wouldn’t harden the way I wanted it to.  So I stuck one tube in the fridge and waited.  When I checked it, it wasn’t as hard as I would like it.  So I decided to empty all eight or so of the tubes, remelt it, and add more beeswax.  I had also forgotten the essential oils, so I opened them and set them right next to the pot so I could add them.

After I added the melted lip balm back to the containers, I realized that I had never added the essential oils.

Back into the pot!

So all that rigmarole took much longer than I would have liked, so I didn’t get started on my next project as soon as I would like.

Next thing on my list was to make gluten-free coconut-milk-based cookie dough ice cream, which I did using my normal chocolate chip cookie recipe (which has AWESOME tasting dough), and chopping up the chips extra small.  Meiling helped me form it into little piles and flash-freeze it to add to the ice cream.  For the ice cream, I just combined coconut milk, vanilla, and honey until it tasted good, then threw it into the ice cream maker.

It turned out pretty well.  The ice cream isn’t as sweet as the cookie dough, which makes it taste a little bland.  But I think that all the vanilla that I poured into it is keeping the ice cream softer (because of the alcohol), which is great, since coconut milk ice cream is usually rock hard.

And then I tried a recipe for powder foundation which contained arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in one recipe, and that plus nutmeg, bentonite clay and ginger, oh, and lavender EO in another.

They did not work for me.

I see other people saying it worked for them, but it just made me look dirty.

 

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The ingredients for the first recipe

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Me, wearing the foundation, as well as the foundation mixed with a bit of lotion (which only made me look dirtier) (look around my chin).  I am also in need of a few other things, but overlook my bad hair.  Please.

I took these pictures of a caterpillar the other day, and am just posting them now.  Enjoy!

 

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I love the rain drops caught between his fat rolls

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I think fat rolls on caterpillars are funny

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And I like using the term fat rolls when relating to caterpillars

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Cause it’s fun when talking about caterpillars

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The Garden

As I was walking outside today, I realized that I hadn’t walked through the garden just to look for awhile.  So I went to take a look.

This year we have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, asparagus, herbs, and some lettuce.  Everything seems to be doing very well!

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The garden

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We have some tomato blossoms…

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…and some tomatoes!

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Actually, quite a few tomatoes

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Asparagus

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Most of the asparagus looks like this

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Lots of butterflies!

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Busy bee in the thyme

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Thyme

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Cilantro

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Apple mint

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Butterfly!

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Lavender

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Our parsley is about two feet tall now!

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Orange mint

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Lettuce

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We have some cucumbers like this…

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…some like this…

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…and some with flowers!  Another butterfly

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I found this interesting cucumber blossom

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And had to take many photos of it!

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Look at all these little cucumbers!

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Climbing

Fun With Earrings and a Few Other Photos

I know I said that I have quite a few things to post.  And I do.  But we’ve been busy.  Very busy.  I have been, um, unhappy, or maybe sad is the way to put it, to have not posted in five days.  I guess that is not that bad after all.

I had my ears pierced back in May, which I know I have not mentioned before here.  Why I finally did it is a story in itself, which I am not going to tell here today.

But one of the results of this is that I have been noticing earrings.  A lot.  On other people, on TV, just about anywhere.  I have been wanting to change my earrings, also, but my ears are healing slowly, so I haven’t been changing my earrings a whole lot.  I have changed them before, but, as it didn’t turn out wonderfully, I have been sticking to this pair (pretty much).

Now that said, I got the bug the other day, and had to try on some of my other earrings.  I only tried on one pair, but they are so fun.  I love them, and can’t wait to wear them.  I have a shirt that matches them exactly.  And I mean exactly.  I was even wearing the shirt when my good friend gave them to me.  Funny, huh?

Thank you, Sarah, for these cute earrings!  Can’t wait to wear them (for a longer time)!

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Self-portraits are always a little difficult

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But fun, nonetheless

A few days later, when I was babysitting, it was just lovely out.  Nice and cool, and the light was a overcast/gray light.  Which I love.  So I took Meiling and Noah outside, and took some photos.

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Down the road

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The pond

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I’ve done something similar before here, but I just love how the telephone pole looks against the gray

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3 levels 🙂

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The warm glow of windows

Chocolate-Covered Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream Bars

This morning my mom came upstairs with a can of coffee.

“This needs to be put in a glass jar,” she said, “It’s spilling in the freezer.”

Well, having that coffee upstairs made me want some coffee.  So I decided that now was the perfect time to open a can of coconut milk, and I started a pot of coffee.

I opened a can of coconut milk that we had gotten at our local grocery store.  It turned out to be not nearly as creamy or rich as the cans of coconut milk from the co-op.  In fact, it was pretty watery.

I didn’t think that was much of a problem until I started adding it to my coffee.  Instead of making it creamy, it just watered it down.  I decided to try to just drink some of the coconut milk straight.  But it was too watery.

I dumped the coffee. Now, though, I had about 2/3 of a can of coconut milk that I needed to do something with.  I remembered this recipe, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for it.  It also sounded a bit involved for what I wanted to do today.  After some thinking (again, a little dangerous), I decided to make vanilla coconut milk ice cream bars and dip them in chocolate.

For the vanilla ice cream part, I just mixed the rest of the can of coconut milk with some honey (approx. 2 tbsp.) and vanilla (approx. 2 tsp.), to taste (inspired by this recipe).

I poured that into molds and let it freeze for a half hour, stuck the popsicle sticks in, and finished freezing them.

Once they were done freezing, I unmolded them, and let them stay in the freezer until I was ready to coat them.

I put a handful or two of dark chocolate chips in a sauce pan on the stove on low heat until they melted.  Next I stirred in some coconut oil (approx.2 tsp.).  I poured this mixture into a half-pint jar.

Then, as I was pouring the chocolate into the jar, disaster struck.  The spoon, covered in melted chocolate, fell. Now this would be bad enough (a waste of good chocolate), but what I didn’t know is that when you drop a chocolate covered spoon, the melted chocolate splatters everywhere.  And I mean EVERYWHERE.  All over the floor and the cabinet.  And the spoon had also left a large spot on my skirt.  Somehow I managed to get a slightly smaller spot on my shirt.  So I insert here: pause and wipe up the floor.

Once the floor was clean, I proceeded.  I took the ice cream bars out of the freezer and dipped the first one.  The chocolate only covered it about halfway.  I just used a new spoon to ladle the chocolate onto the bar and smooth it out.  As the level of chocolate decreased in the jar each time, I used the spoon to finish coating each bar.  The chocolate hardens almost immediately and forms a delicious coating.  I then put the bars back into the freezer.

I tried one after dinner.  The middle tasted rather watery, but the chocolate coating made it yummy (of course, right?  Chocolate or bacon makes everything better, depending on what it is).

Next time I may try freezing the ice cream in the ice cream maker until it is soft, them put it in a bar form.  It may just work better with creamier coconut milk.

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The ice cream bars, before being coated in chocolate

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[Does this need a caption?]

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Coated and ready to go into the freezer (or eat, whatever you are inclined to do)