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.

Happy Halloween & Happy November 1st!

I cannot believe that it is already November. These past few months have gone by so incredibly fast.

Yesterday was Halloween and Delta 4 celebrated by putting on Tyvek suits and getting $4 bowls at Chipotle!

The past week has consisted of removing insulation from underneath houses because apparently every other volunteer group only wanted to tackle the inside of homes. Personally, I don’t mind the work. It’s kind of fun sliding around on my stomach under people’s homes ripping out cotton candy stuff. Do know that I am in full Tyvek gear while doing this and have not been majorly affected by any fiberglass.

Yesterday also marked 1 week of being in New Bern, NC. It’s been an interesting experience thus far, and there have been several hiccups, but I suppose that it’s all part of the AmeriCorps NCCC adventure.

Today we are back at the Presbyterian church finishing painting. It looks like we’ll be working here a lot more than I initially thought/planned, but I suppose it’s for a good cause. There’s just a part of me that feels weird about painting walls when I know that there are people– who I have met and spoken to– who are currently sitting in moldy living conditions and need our help. I’m not the only person on the team who has this concern/feeling, but I’m trying to focus on the good that this facility will do for the community.

Because this is a split round, we only have about 3 more weeks here. Next week, I will be doing a mid-project evaluation. I think I like having a split round, though; that means I’ll get to explore more new places than I would’ve not having a split round.

Hurricane Florence

Delta 4 is staying at Two Rivers Church. They are a non denominational Christian church that have opened their facilities to volunteer groups so they have a place to stay while helping the community recover. The boys stay in one section and the girls in another. Currently, my 5 females and I are in one of the children’s rooms. It’s a little tight, but the cots are pretty comfy. The church itself does not have showers, so there is a shower trailer outside of the building. The stalls are actually very spacious and clean, so I can’t complain.

Our sponsor is the Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders. They stem from the organization Habitat for Humanity. Pete, is our main POC, and he is handing us over permanently to Wescott, a member of Two Rivers Church and someone who has taken an active role in helping his community. He has previous experience with muck and gut, as well as general handy skills, so Delta 4 looks forward to learning a lot from him.

So, my team seems to be the only team with an actual sponsor; everyone else is working under the AmeriCorps- Disaster Response Teams. I just had a call with a planning chief from ADRT and I will be required to submit certain information about the hours and the work Delta 4 has done every day at 7pm. My team is unique in the way that we are currently only working 5 days per week– everyone else is 6 days or more. I’m sure that we will probably be bumped up too.

New Bern, NC is beautiful. The sunrises and sunsets are to die for; now I know why every Nicholas Sparks movie ever was filmed here. There is a beach a little under 2 hours from us that we are probably going to visit soon. Today, there is a farmer’s market downtown, and we made plans to go there around 10:30am.

This is random, but 3 in 1 shower products are a life saver in this program. That is all.

Our first full day was spent mucking a house about an hour away from our housing. The couple, Roy and Judy, had been using Roy’s childhood home as their summer getaway, but this was the third time that a hurricane had really done damage, so my team was probably the last to be in there.

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Yesterday, our second full day, we were at Neuse Forest Presbyterian Church. By early 2019 they hope to have a permanent “volunteer village” disaster housing for future hurricanes. We sealed in the walls with Kilz and next week we’ll help put up drywall and remove some insolation. After that, there are more houses to be mucked and gutted.

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It has been raining since yesterday afternoon and it was finally cold enough to truly snuggle into my sleeping back last night! I turned off the window unit for A/C in the lodge for the first time since arriving, too.

I have written over 20 letters at this point in the past 24 hours to various friends and family back in Georgia and elsewhere. I will send those out tomorrow. I also sent an email to a stranger asking to be pen pals, so I’ll keep everyone posted on that.

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My unit leader is currently 3.5 hours away; he is coming to spend the day tomorrow working with us and checking up on the general health of the team. We cleaned the lodge and made sure to plan a filling meal at least for tomorrow night- I doubt that he will be eating with us tonight seeing as they probably won’t arrive until 9pm.

Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing painting the dining hall if the weather holds up, but if it does not, then we will be cleaning the inside of the dining hall and the recreation hall.

The rest of my night will consist of getting dinner and watching the Golden Girls!

T minus 26 days

It hard to believe that we have less than 4 weeks here. My team is already over halfway done with their ISP required hours. For those who do not know what an ISP is: Independent Service Projects are volunteer hours outside of NCCC that are required for graduation. They are often done with local animal shelters, parks, or festivals in the area. While they are required, they are a lot of fun and you get meet new people and learn new skills.

So far, this week has consisted of more brush clearing and laying gravel. We use the tractor on site to transport the gravel. Unfortunately, we are only allowed to drive on the low speed and I so desperately want to pick up the pace.

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We should be finishing those trails today, and we will begin new projects: cleaning out the camp library, taping parts of the dining hall that will be painted tomorrow, and clearing more brush in areas unknown to me. We also have PT today, so I think we will do a round of ultimate frisbee for that.

My unit leader is visiting camp on Monday, so that should be fun. The Delta STL is also coming and I am personally very excited to have another TL in my vicinity.

I must say, the mosquitos and other stinging/biting wildlife have upped their game in the last week. I have so many bites on me and then this appeared on my ankle one morning:

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I haven’t really done anything about; I’m just leaving it alone. I also cut my other ankle on a broken chair in the office, so my feet are having a fantastic time. Especially when I pull thick wool socks and heavy work boots on over the bites and cut.

I have not heard any more news about the flooding in the Carolinas, so I am assuming that we are not getting pulled; however, we are still on standby. Round 2 or 3 will be a disaster for us probably, per our request. I think we should get the Round 2 Project Slate in the next month, so I have that to look forward to…