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Moving Time!

Life has been a little crazy. Our lease does not end until November; however, we are moving out anyway because this apartment was not made to hold two people working from home. My office is currently in our bedroom, so I don’t have that nice work-life balance.

I have been wanting to break the lease for several months, but the cost of doing so was deterring me from following through. Well, a few nights ago, I was once again woken up at 1am by our downstairs neighbors having a brawl. It is bad enough that during the day there is noise and not enough space, but if I can’t even get a good night’s sleep then it is not for me.

We looked at a house we really like yesterday and we submitted an application. I really really really hope we are chosen because while the house needs some work, it is perfect for what we need it for right now. We would be looking to sign a lease for 2 years and then we plan on buying a house further south.

Fingers crossed we are chosen!!

Stove Drip Pans

There is a lot of cooking that goes on in my apartment and that results in filthy drip pans. Over the past year they have gotten even more disgusting and sticky, despite me doing my best to clean them with baking soda, vinegar, and vigorous scrubbing.

I have heard that ammonia, which is apparently perfectly safe for the environment (but should not be inhaled), does a great job in tidying up the grime that settles in drip pans, so I have acquired some.

I went outside and placed each of the 4 drip pans into a gallon zip lock bag and poured about 1/4 cup of ammonia into the base and then I sealed the bags. I will visit my drip pans again in the morning after they have soaked for 24 hours.

I will update on this matter tomorrow.

UPDATE: So, the ammonia did not do what I thought it would; however, I believe that our drip pans might have been beyond repair. They were already rusting and we forgot food in them forty too many times. I have discovered that drip pans are rather inexpensive, so I think we will just replace these when our lease ends next year.

Camping Adventures!

On Sunday, at 7:30PM, my fiancĂ© and I made a last minute decision to go on the camping trip we planned one month ago. Earlier in the morning on Sunday we decided we were not going to be going because the weather forecast showed nothing but rain, but then it got to be later in the day and the rain had disappeared. I didn’t want $26 dollars and our smores supplies to go to waste, so we drove up to Red top Mountain and spent the night.

We pitched the tent in the dark, my flashlight died, we roasted weenies, burned marshmallows (okay, that was just me), and we woke up to a beautiful autumn view on Lake Altoona. I forgot how much I enjoy camping and we will definitely be doing this again, but maybe with friends! Camping is such a cheap and rewarding leisure activity; it is also a nice way to unwind if you feel you’ve been spending too much time around technology, work, and the general stressors in life.

Pepper Jelly- YUM!

I made pepper jelly for the first time with my stepdad several years ago. We used peppers from his garden and it was slightly spicy, but so good!! In recent weeks, I have gotten a craving for pepper jelly again and I also received some requests from my best friend because she loves it as well!

I picked this recipe and it made about seven 8oz jars of jelly. I don’t have a tall pot or a canning pot, so I improvise, but it always comes out delicious!

Pepper jelly is best eaten on a cracker with cream cheese. If your pepper jelly is too spicy, the cream cheese will help to dull the burn!

They can take up to 48 hours to set, so don’t be discouraged if they are still liquidly.

AmeriCorps: Do I Stay in Touch With my Team?

It has been over 1 year since my AmeriCorps journey has come to an end (May 2019). I would say that I do a decent job of keeping in touch with 5 of my 8 team members and I talk to 1 fellow team leader on a quarterly basis.

I keep in touch through the app Marco Polo, I write letters, and then there is the occasional FaceTime or Instagram video chat.

I honestly didn’t know whether or not I would develop good enough relationship during my time in the program, but I am glad I did because a lot of high school friends and I grew apart or we don’t see each other as often, so I am grateful for new friends. I also only made one friend in my almost 6 years of college (LOL), so I will take all the extra friends I can get.

This post is a short one, but I wanted to encourage everyone to reach out to those you care about and to keep in touch with people who care about you, too. Write letters, send emails, follow them on social media, and maybe meet up every few months/years. Take a road trip, go camping, or meet up at a restaurant if you are in their areas.