Amy Artisan

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Category: Sports Fan (page 1 of 3)

Bucketful of Summer…Revisited

Labor Day has passed, Columbus Day is around the corner…schools have been back in session for 4-8 weeks…the sunlight is starting to change…morning temps have already flirted down into the 40s a few times…meteorological summer has given way to autumn…leaves are falling and the season has changed. At the start of summer, a Ten on Tuesday prompt was for things I’d like to do before autumn rolls in. So, as the seasons change, a check-in on the list…

Summer Bucket Scenes

 

  • Continue to exercise konmari as I tackle the stuff in my house. I recently read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” While I didn’t progress as quickly as I would have hoped, the #konmari is happening in my house. My bedroom and bathroom are complete. The kitchen is almost done. Next it is time to head into my office/guest room and start tackling books and then everything else. To date, a lot of things have exited the house: 12 bags of clothes; a large bag of sample and travel toiletries to a local women’s shelter; kitchen appliances & more that I “had to have” & realize now I don’t need & don’t fit in with life these days; in addition to pulling items for donation, it has also sparked joy to see some items leave my house & go to friends that will enjoy them.
  • See a movie at a drive-in theater. Our intention was good…but the timing didn’t work out to enjoy a kid friendly movie under the stars this summer…there’s always next year.
  • Take in another Iron Pigs baseball game. The last Sunday in June was a perfect day to take in a double header from the Bacon Strip
  • Add another presidential library to the “I’ve visited” list. (Truman, Carter, Reagan, Bush 2) Yes and no. The intent was to tour the FDR library as our family vacation in New York began. We ended up not having the time to tour – but post cards were picked up. It is on our list to do another time.
  • Can some jam. Definitely achieved – through 2 canning adventures. The first time was a Sunday afternoon with Gretchen and her girls at their house. Later on, a couple of hours in my kitchen yielded tomato jam. Now, I have jars stored in the closet for gift giving and meal enhancement as the seasons change and the summer produce becomes a distant memory.
  • Enjoy some family vacation time at summer camp in upstate New York. Most definitely achieved! This is a week that is staying with all of us and definitely goes in the pantheon of great family vacations.
  • Send a pack of t-shirts away to become a t-shirt quilt. My pack of t-shirts has returned to me from a visit to the textile factory in Massachusetts and is now a cozy quilt for cooler days ahead. I’ll share the quilt in another post.  
  • Achieve my “summer reading challenge” at the local library. My target is 12 books – of course, they consider summer to end on August 18th. Where’s my reading ribbon? I completed a baker’s dozen by Labor Day. Reading is a year round sport for me and I have several reads going at any one time. I set a 2015 reading goal on GoodReads for 40 books in 2015 and I’m well on track to meeting (& maybe surpassing?) that goal.
  • Spend some time coloring in my copy of “the” Secret Garden coloring book I picked up in London last summer. While I didn’t color in the Secret Garden, I have had fun coloring in the Paige Tate coloring books. This is an activity that is staying in rotation.
  • Complete a photobook for 2013 or 2014 with the Shutterfly Photo Story app. So this didn’t happen. While I have both photobooks started, I just didn’t find the spark to dive in and complete them this summer. Historically, I’ve been more productive with scrapbooking in cooler months…I’m anticipating this item will happen as the temps drop.

While I didn’t completely fill my summer bucket list – without a doubt the bucket has been filled with fun (&productive) times. As the seasons change and routines shift, I’m pulling together new items for my list – it will be fun to see what happens as the pages of the calendar keep marching onward.

What was on your list of goals for the summer? Did you achieve them? What is on your list for autumn and winter?

Currently…September

Ah, SEPTEMBER…a month of seasonal switches – shortening days – more crispness to the mornings – locally, the Papal visit has come and gone… in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my days…

Reading…As the baseball season winds down, I finished my WWII baseball read…a Sunday afternoon was “consumed” with a ChickLit read…in the midst of The Martian and enjoying it…several books (of widely varying topics) in active read now…queueing up for a mid-October QuickLit post on the reads…

Watching…the return of some favorite shows…the jury is still out on some new season finds…choosing to watch most of them via DVR & on my schedule without commercials…football is back – some college games, all the Packers games so far (but I know there will be weeks when their game won’t be shown here)…

Having fun recording the Packers season in stitches...

Having fun recording the Packers season in stitches…

Crafting…knitting is at hand…as the Packers started the season, I started my own Scorecard Cowl to track the season’s points in stitches…after knitting a fall cowl in August & realizing that I didn’t like it for me, a version 2.0 is off the needles & just what I want as the cooler days arrive…in keeping with the cowl theme, I’m also working on another cowl for me with an unexpected skein of yarn that is oh so soft…an abandoned baby knit has been finished and is blocking before going to a new home…gathering patterns and yarns for some gift knits…

Browsing…on being challenged by watching the Pope in America…on the death of the Postcard

Autumnal JOY in a mantel vignette...

Autumnal JOY in a mantel vignette…

Cultivating…joy in my home…#konmari tidying in the kitchen yielded 2 bags of kitchen “things” that are now on to other use, so far…a new lamp in the living room…a blue (yes, blue) decorative pumpkin sparked joy when I came upon it while shopping and so it became the centerpiece for a fall vignette on the mantel…a new blanket, a new lamp, and a lamped moved in from the living room provide a bit of refresh to my bedroom…

Listeningto Mercer football games via the I Heart Radio app…The “Voice of the Bears” is so fun to listen to – obviously more so when the Bears are doing well but he doesn’t pull any punches when their play and behavior is less than it should be…

A few of my Whole30 kitchen adventures...

A few of my Whole30 kitchen adventures…

Cooking…so much! This round of the Whole30 has reawakened the enjoyment of being in the kitchen…as I move from “the 30” through reintroduction and establishing my new normal, I’ve identified some basics that I need to always prep and have on hand to ensure that on days when I’m not sure what’s for lunch or dinner I can easily make something that doesn’t go off the deep end…I’m drafting some posts for October with some of the tips and recipes that worked for me…

Traveling…not this month…I thought I might have some Florida travel but managed to take care of that project remotely. I do see some Florida travel for October.

Looking Ahead…October means Halloween – which means it is time for a trip to see my Texas girlies! With the return of fall flavors, I think it might be time to can some applesauce.

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

Simply Green & Gold!

A long overdue post about a knit that has been well worn this year…

Casting on...12/19/13

This time last year, I cast on for a simple holiday knitting project with a single skein of yarn I picked up when I met up with Vicki at her farmer’s market in July 2012. This colorway pays homage to a key ingredient of life in Northeast Wisconsin: Green + Gold = Go Pack Go!

I was deep in the project in Marinette when the Packers won their last Super Bowl. In fact, I can say that it was that season when I “finally” became a football fan – and indeed became caught up in the fun that is being a Packers fan. Along the way, the whole Artisan Family has become Packers fans, too.

The Simple Things Shawlette was the perfect pattern for an easy knit to highlight the yarn. In short order, a finished knit was off the needles and then stalled for a bit before I blocked it. It was blocked in time for spring and saw lots of use this year. A fun punch of color against my light aqua spring coat. A frequent travel scarf with many of my flights and trips. A bit of Packers spirit in the office. It has truly been a “go to” piece in my wardrobe. (Raveled here).

As I prepared to celebrate my birthday by attending my 1st Packers game at Lambeau Field last month, I hoped the weather would cooperate to allow this shawlette to make an appearance. And thankfully, it did! It was a cold weather game so there were many layers – but I planned “right” so that this one didn’t have to get hidden in the mix (yes, I had another handknit cowl in my gear to layer on top of this if needed). It was so fun to cheer on the game with this green & gold handknit.

And, since I enjoy this knit so much, another Simple Things Shawlette is off the needles, blocked & in use these days – stay tuned for another knit debut in the coming weeks!

Bucket List Birthday

Ten years ago, I celebrated a decade turning birthday in Chicago in lots of different ways – culminating with drinks and dinner at the top of the Hancock Building with dear girlfriends. Looking back on the last 10 years, I know that as we enjoyed the city and lake views with our celebration I didn’t have a glimpse into how the next 10 years would progress and indeed how I would celebrate the next decade turning birthday. While I don’t have a formal bucket list, per se, as I look at the last 10 years there have been some pretty incredible experiences that have filled my bucket. So, it seemed appropriate to celebrate this decade turning birthday in Wisconsin with a bucket list experience – it was finally to see a Packers game at Lambeau. And not just any game – the latest installment of the Packers vs. Bears rivalry in prime time. This time last weekend, I was in the midst of enjoying a fantastic birthday celebration weekend with dear ones back in Wisconsin.

As the sun was setting on Sunday afternoon, we loaded into the van to head towards the game. All week we had been watching the weather forecast and so we made sure that we had plenty of layer options to wear & carry in so that we wouldn’t be frozen fans – in the end, we didn’t even deploy all the layers we brought with us. In no time, we were parking about 5 blocks from the stadium and adding layers to our ensembles before walking to the stadium. Along the way, we passed a lot of tailgating and cheering fans in the neighborhood that surrounds the stadium. As we reached the stadium we were swept up into the throngs of fans as we worked our way around to the front entrances and the new Lambeau Leap statue. (Trivia: C & V were at the game where the 1st Lambeau Leap was experienced) After capturing the appropriate leap pictures, it was time to enter the stadium and find our seats.

We pushed through the crowds and climbed the steps to our seats. Before long we were settling into our seats in the end zone, near the Packers tunnel. The pre-game festivities were stirring – it seemed appropriate that we were there for a great show of military service appreciation. We all dutifully held up our blue cards for the Card Stunts. And then, it was time for the game to start. Before long, the Packers were in the end zone and we were jumping up and down screaming & high-fiving with those in the seats around us. Early in the game, it was evident that it was not going to be a good night to be a Bears fan – the 20-something Bears fans in the seats in front of us quickly realized they needed to just embrace the Lambeau experience. As the Packers continued to score, we joked that it would be great for them to at least score as many points as there were candles on my cake this year. Little did we know they would surpass that by halftime.

As the game continued into the second half, it was obvious that we were lucky enough to be witnessing an incredible game in this longstanding rivalry. Even as seats around us started to empty, we stayed to the very end. There were still plenty of opportunities to scream and holler and cheer as great play continued. I had started losing my voice on Saturday but that didn’t stop me from cheering with the best of them during the game. As we headed back to the van after the game we all were floating just a bit from the excitement of a great game and a great evening.

While the game on Sunday night was definitely the highlight of the weekend, it was an all around great time with dear ones. My flight path to WI included connecting through Atlanta so I “picked up” Rebecca to join the celebration. The WI family picked us up in Milwaukee and we had our “normal” road trip fun including lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and Kwik Trip stops. Saturday evening, the grown-ups enjoyed a very grown-up dinner of Concrete Mixers from Culvers. On Sunday morning we headed up to the land in the UP in the midst of a few snowflakes. Sunday supper happened at lunchtime & included cold weather grilling and a tasty birthday cake. On Monday, a pretty snowfall came down outside the living room picture window as we enjoyed hanging out before it was time for Rebecca to head back to GA. Monday lunch was at my favorite Blue Bike Burrito – it had been a while since I’d been there but it is always so fun to walk in & be greeted by name. On Tuesday, I was back in the office there as the snow started to stick more before it was time to fly back to PA.

And now, the decade has turned. Who knows what these next 10 years will hold. But based on the adventures the previous decades have held, I look forward to seeing what unfolds.

Beachfront Business

After my “kwik trip” to Wisconsin to celebrate Bre’s confirmation, I was home for just a few hours before heading back to the airport. As has been the case several times this year, a business trip ended up being scheduled right against a bit of fun. This time, my early Monday morning travel was to Florida – on Tuesday I was facilitating a workshop.

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The hotel where our meeting was held included “beachfront” in the name and was very aptly named, the view from the balcony of my hotel truly was stunning…morning, noon and night! Needless to say, when in my room I spent a lot of time staring out the window or out on the balcony. At night, the gentle sound of the waves coming through the sliding glass door made for excellent sleep.

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After a successful day on Tuesday, my goal for Wednesday morning was simple: be on the beach for sunrise. I am so glad that I did that! The 40 minutes I spent on the beach watching the sun, clouds & waves was so restorative – as the light started to emerge and play against the clouds and water my head was filled…with favorite verses, with lyrics to songs & hymns (morning has broken, anyone?), with reflections on the last couple of years since I made the decision to change jobs and relocate…In the midst of it all, I was thankful for the technology held in my hand that allowed me to capture pictures & even videos of the sunrise to share with dear ones far away.

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Midday on Wednesday, it was time to leave the spectacular beachfront views and begin to journey home. As I drove back towards Orlando, I saw a sign for the Brevard County Stadium – a lightbulb went off that this was the home of the Brewers farm team: Brevard County Manatees. I had plenty of time before my flight so I took a 3 mile detour to the stadium. I walked around & snapped a few pictures to share with friends. Staff cars were in the parking lot so I found the main phone number & called. “Hi, I’m a Brewers fan in the area on a business trip – is it possible for me to stop in & get some Sea Cow Swag?” I was given instructions to take the elevator to their office & someone would meet me. In just a few minutes, we were in the team store (which was already torn down for the season) & I was picking up a couple of ball caps from the storage closet. All told, I maybe added 15 minutes to my time to get back to the airport – and now I have a fun new hat to add to the collection (sidenote: manatees have been a favorite animal since a 5th grade report on them – still have yet to see a live one up close…)

The workshop was a success…the beach views restorative…the baseball stop a fun serendipity! Once again, it was fun to work a bit of extra fun into a few road warrior days.

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