Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Month: November 2015

Currently…November

Ah, NOVEMBER…a month of birthday and Thanksgiving…of leaves plummeting to the ground until spring and the return of darkness as I leave work… in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my days…

Reading…a bit…sharing recent reads earlier in the month…devouring seven (!) books on my Thanksgiving break…perusing “best of” book lists for Christmas wish list items…

Watching (TV)…I’m enjoying the new SuperGirl series…keeping current with Fargo (& chuckling that we lived in ND at the time of this story)…letting go of some series I’ve been following & deleting them from the DVR schedule…

Watching (Movies)…way more than I’ve seen in a long time…the flight back from Switzerland on the 1st was filled with an eclectic mix of titles (Inside Out, That Sugar Film, Mission Impossible, Pitch Perfect 2)… the final installment of the Hunger Games in the theater with my sister…several delightful family movie nights while home for Thanksgiving (Mr. Holmes, The Woman in Gold, Cinderella)…

Knitting and a fave classic movie on a Saturday evening...

Knitting and a fave classic movie on a Saturday evening…

Crafting…continuing to stitch through the Packers season on my Scorecard cowl – even the recent losses…the rest of the knitting time is filled with gift knitting (& soon to be some gift knit blocking time)…Thanksgiving break in the ‘Ville yielded 2.5 gift knits completed…

Mom's Lemon Meringue Pie is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition...

Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition…

Browsing…On the rise of stylish comfortable shoes…a history of leftoversIn Praise of the Good Enough Holiday (NYT)…A reminder that not all the good plays are on the playing field…Proud of my friend Deb and her recent TEDx talk on the birth of her third child and the birth of a community

Listening…thoroughly enjoying the new Adele album…

Birthday fun!

Birthday fun!

Celebrating…my birthday with afternoon tea & pottery painting with a good friend & her 3 girls…

"Cranberry Sauce" Crisp for a luncheon...

“Cranberry Sauce” Crisp for a luncheon…

Cooking…a “Cranberry Sauce Crisp” for a Thanksgiving luncheon at work…a double Nantucket Cranberry Pie for Thanksgiving at church in the ‘Ville (& enjoying leftovers for breakfast on Monday morning!)…a batch of Mama Stambergs Cranberry Relish to accompany Thanksgiving and leftovers…my traditional side for the Thanksgiving table – shredded Brussels sprouts with bacon & chopped nuts…

A new tea routine...

A new tea routine…

Sipping…lots of tea in this great tea tumbler from Libretea – a thoughtful birthday gift from dear ones…now each day, my bag contains the tumbler with a scoop of loose leaf tea for a mid-morning tea break at the office…

Thanksgiving Brussels sprouts ready for dinner...

Thanksgiving Brussels sprouts ready for dinner…

Traveling…home to the ‘Ville for the week of Thanksgiving…just a few work related calls & emails to deal with while home – otherwise a week of fun & together time with the family…reading…knitting…Thai takeout…lingering over lunch to catch up with a dear high school friend…

Thankful for a week at home in the 'Ville...

Thankful for a week at home in the ‘Ville…

Looking Ahead…Christmas decorations are out of storage and being put up around the house…a month of Christmas tunes and movies…Christmas travel plans are being finalized…the anticipation of “finally” giving holiday knits to dear ones…

Linking up with Leigh’s monthly “What I’m Into” roundup. What are you into these days?

Right Now…Thankful

While thankfulness is something I’m mindful of year round, as the 4th Thursday of November draws near each year, I find that I take a few extra moments to focus on what in my life causes me to be thankful. For today’s Ten on Tuesday, the prompt is “things I’m thankful for right now” – so, in no particular order…

If Nantucket Cranberry Pie is being made, it must be Thanksgiving...

If Nantucket Cranberry Pie is being made, it must be Thanksgiving…

Vacation Days – combined with the company holidays, they allow me to be down here in the ‘Ville for a full week with the family…

Wifi & Email – Even though I’m on vacation, I still need to have a bit of connection to work for some projects that I’m driving…thankfully email can be accessed & dealt with from anywhere..

Church Family Thanksgiving – Our church here in the ‘Ville has a lovely tradition for the Sunday before Thanksgiving where instead of a “traditional” service we pause to reflect on the Thanksgivings in our lives and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. The whole event has us seated around round tables in the sanctuary and sharing together…

Family Time – Last week, a friend at work asked what all the family was going to do while I was home – when I commented that we didn’t necessarily have a lot planned but we can be happy all sitting in the living room lost in books with mugs of good coffee, she commented that she wanted to do that…

A Kindle filled with good books – Our schedule (or lack of it), for the week means plenty of time to plow through several titles…so far, 3 books have been finished since I left PA on Saturday…

A Packers win – a bit silly, for sure…but it was fun to cheer on the game with the whole family on Sunday afternoon…seeing my sister respond to some plays was especially humorous – no emojis in our standard game-time texting can quite convey her passion at some moments…

Operation Christmas Child – On Sunday afternoon, Mom, Rebecca & I shopped for and filled shoeboxes for 4 children. I’m thankful that Mom & Dad instilled in us from an early age the importance of helping others…

Social media – Honestly, this is a love/hate relationship…but I’m thankful for how I’ve been able to reconnect with high school friends in recent years – and the opportunity to see them when I’m home in the ‘Ville…

Desserts for breakfast – Growing up, it was always a treat when Mom made baked apples for dessert…because most of the time it meant that we would have dessert for breakfast the next day. These days, a new tradition is leftover Nantucket Cranberry Pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving Monday since I now make a double batch of this “new fave” treat to take to church Thanksgiving on Sunday…

Air Travel – Yes, sometimes this can be quite frustrating…but it makes living far away from family more bearable when I can easily catch a flight home for holidays and other times…

As we pause this week, what are you most thankful for right now? 

Recently Read…Autumn 2015

It’s time to connect with Modern Mrs. Darcy for QuickLit and share for another round-up of recent reads – and by recent I mean the last couple of months. The reading list keeps growing but in recent weeks I’ve found knitting in my hands more frequently than books (it must be gift knitting season). The Kindle was charged and loaded for my October travels; however, the reading just didn’t materialize even with all the plane time.

Kindle reads + a Swiss souvenir read

Kindle reads + a Swiss souvenir read

  • The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII by John Klima – The true story of how baseball continued in the U.S. during WII and the importance and impact it had so many fronts – the boys that went off to war, those left behind, the evolution of professional baseball into the game/business we see today.
  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – I picked up the Kindle version when it was deeply discounted and figured it would be a fun read at some point. One weekend in September, it got consumed. I started it on a Saturday & read just a bit before turning out the light. On Sunday morning I enjoyed reading it for a while to start my day – then I decided to prioritize what actually needed to be done that day & did minimal food prep/cooking and house puttering while devouring the rest of the story. A combination of chick lit + tabloid read + English aristocracy primer all rolled into a cute story. Overall, a fun read.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – I really enjoyed this story of an astronaut surviving on Mars when he is mistakenly left behind as dead on the planet when an astronaut crew has to abandon their mission. A long time fascination with the space program had me appreciating the nods to “historical fact” that were gleaned from other missions and tests. A good combination of internal monologue, determination and sheer will on Mars and on Earth as survival is realized and rescue is planned.
  • Yes, Please by Amy Poehler – I follow Amy’s “Smart Girls” initiative through social media and like the work that she and her team are doing and I have always enjoyed her shows, movies, etc. This book was just ok for me – I read it via library loan on the Kindle and thought maybe it would be more engaging in the physical book format where you could actually see/read the “extras” that were throughout the book – letters, notes, etc…on my older Kindle they didn’t come through well and so those nuggets were “missing.”
  • At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen – A tale of Scotland, searching for the Loch Ness Monster, love and loss and World War II, the impact of your family background/breeding in Philadelphia mainline society and the chance for redemption and a new start.
  • Delicious! by Ruth Reihl – A fun read – part “contemporary classic” tale of a college age girl moving to New York to start work at a magazine while running from her past and falling for a guy and more “typical” storylines and part “imagined history” of James Beard corresponding with a young girl from Akron over cooking, rations and living through World War II.
  • A Bell for Ursli: A Story from the Engadine in Switzerland by Selina Chonz & Alois Carigiet (Illustrator) – A souvenir of my October trip to Switzerland, this is a charming children’s story. The tale of a young boy eager to be seen as a “bigger boy” and the lengths he will go to in order to prove that at the annual festival. The Swiss National Museum in Zurich had an exhibit highlighting the work of this illustrator – both his story illustrations and other design work.

What have you been reading lately? As I prepare for Thanksgiving break, I’m looking forward to the books that will be read during that time.

Currently…October

Ah, OCTOBER…a month of fall colors and falling temps…of shortening days…of pulling out the colder weather wear…in the midst of it all, these are a few of the things that filled my days…

Reading…a bit…plans for an October QuickLit update didn’t happen but the draft is queued up for November…unexpected work travel has given me more reading time than anticipated this month…

Tipsy discovering the magic of a ball of yarn

Tipsy discovering the magic of a ball of yarn

Crafting…continue to stitch through the Packers season on my Scorecard cowl…my “Walk the Land” cowl is off the needles and in use…some gift knits on the needles…

Spiced Pear & Apple Butter has brought autumn joy to many meals

Spiced Pear & Apple Butter has brought autumn joy to many meals

Cooking…it’s the season for cinnamon and cloves and nutmeg – pears & apples that were past their prime were thrown in a pot with these spices and simmered on the stove to become Spiced Pear & Apple Butter…continuing with some Whole30 basics on hand and prepped for quick meal success!

After work on a blustery day, the view of a favorite spot

After work on a blustery day, the view of a favorite spot

Traveling, Part I…plans for the month were very different than I thought they would be…back to back work trips to end the month – first a quick a work trip to Marinette filled with busy workshop days, beautiful fall scenery, a bit of time with the WI-family, enjoying a bit of a Culver’s Pumpkin shake and a bowl of my favorite stuffed bell pepper soup…

The view as I arrived in Switzerland for a work trip

The view as I arrived in Switzerland for a work trip

Traveling, Part II…because of course the trips stacked up, about 48 hours after getting back from WI I was headed overseas…the last week of the month was for meetings in Switzerland which meant a scramble to get my passport renewed…plans for Halloween with my Texas cuties didn’t happen so that I could extend my trip for a weekend of exploring…more to come on my Swiss adventures…

Looking Ahead…November brings my birthday, family Thanksgiving time, a time to focus on what I’m thankful for and more…

Linking up with Leigh Kramer’s monthly “What I’m Into” roundup. What are you into these days?

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